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SeaPerch: An Underwater Robot


Areas of Science
Time Required
Short (2-5 days)
Ben Finio, PhD, Science Buddies
*Note: For this science project you will need to develop your own experimental procedure. Use the information in the summary tab as a starting place. If you would like to discuss your ideas or need help troubleshooting, use the Ask An Expert forum. Our Experts won't do the work for you, but they will make suggestions and offer guidance if you come to them with specific questions.

If you want a Project Idea with full instructions, please pick one without an asterisk (*) at the end of the title.


Underwater robots, or remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), help us explore areas of the ocean that can be dangerous for humans. They can provide valuable scientific information about deep-sea life and ocean climate. However, you do not need access to the ocean to build and test your own ROV. If you have ever wanted to build your own ROV but were not sure where to start, the SeaPerch platform is a great option. You can purchase a complete kit with all the required parts and follow the detailed build instructions. Many training videos are also available to help you along various steps of the process:

Note that for a science project, you will want to modify the design or add your own attachments in addition to following the basic directions. The SeaPerch FAQ points this out:

Q: Can I change the SeaPerch design or add attachments?

A: Yes, that's a big part of a SeaPerch build! The SeaPerch Build Guide provides multiple designs that may be chosen or a custom design may be built using the materials provided in the kit or using additional materials. Attachments need to be added in order to perform tasks with the ROV such as lifting objects in the water. The SeaPerch ROV is constructed using common PVC pipes and fittings and is easily modified.

Think about what you want your ROV to do and what its scientific purpose will be. Will it need a camera? The ability to grasp underwater objects? Collect data with sensors? Defining these criteria for your design is an important part of the engineering design process. Get started and you can explore the ocean (or another body of water or swimming pool) near you!

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Ask an Expert

Do you have specific questions about your science project? Our team of volunteer scientists can help. Our Experts won't do the work for you, but they will make suggestions, offer guidance, and help you troubleshoot.

Global Connections

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) are a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.

This project explores topics key to Life Below Water: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.


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Do you enjoy going to the ocean? Do you like examining all of the marine creatures in tide pools? Do you read up on the different kinds of ocean mammals and fish for fun? If this is the case, then you may be the right fit for a career as a marine biologist. Marine biology is the study of ocean aquatic organisms, their behaviors, and their interactions with the environment. Because this field of study is an intersection of zoology, biology, and technology, marine biologists can apply their… Read more

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General citation information is provided here. Be sure to check the formatting, including capitalization, for the method you are using and update your citation, as needed.

MLA Style

Finio, Ben. "SeaPerch: An Underwater Robot." Science Buddies, 1 June 2023, https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/Robotics_p049/robotics/underwater-remotely-operated-vehicle. Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

APA Style

Finio, B. (2023, June 1). SeaPerch: An Underwater Robot. Retrieved from https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/Robotics_p049/robotics/underwater-remotely-operated-vehicle

Last edit date: 2023-06-01
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