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In 2010, seagrass in the Chesapeake Bay declined to nearly half of the original population. Though little research was available at the time, large pollution clean-up efforts seemed to restore parts of the bay. The current method for tracking seagrass growth consists of aerial flyovers by planes, drones or physically inspecting them underwater. With our submersible drone, we will provide data collection including live video of seagrass without having to get in the water and potentially damage the ecosystem. We plan to implement this drone along with the current methods for researching seagrass growth to get a better understanding of the health and behaviors of seagrass.


Taylor White

Taylor White

Civil Engineering

Cody Ryan

Cody Ryan


Richard Larson

Richard Larson

Mechanical Engineering


Below are some photos of our materials from our solution.

Assembling Parts

After receiving the ROV kit, we first assembled the motors and battery system.

BagelBone Black (BBB)

Next we analyzed the BeagleBone Black (BBB) which is the main processor of the ROV. This is the brain of our operation which controls the camera and other motors.

Assembling ROV

Taylor and Richard assembling the ROV. We used the OpenRov website instructions to build the ROV on our own.

Testing Live Feed

Richard testing the live video feed. We wanted to make sure the feed was able to view us. The camera will enable us to get a better look underwater at the vegetation.

Testing in the ODU Fountain

Richard testing the completed ROV in the ODU fountain with Dr. Alberts’ assistance. We wanted to test it’s waterproofness and the live feed of video.

ROV Leak

After pulling the ROV out of the fountain, we found a small leak, which was a minor setback to our ROV testing.

Adjusting Parts

Richard is seen here checking the seal for debris or any other defects.

Finding Leak and Ordering Parts

After assessing the leak, we are able to understand where the problem is coming from and how to fix it, we are currently awaiting new parts to arrive.

Want to learn more about cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay?