23 March 2017 / Last updated: 20 Nov 2018

OpenROV: deploying Docker containers to underwater drones with balena.io

You've probably seen robots and drones on land and in the air, but have you ever seen one under water?
OpenROV is creating low cost, highly capable drones that enable anybody to explore the underwater world. After four years of designing and testing, OpenROV is now taking pre-orders for their Trident kit. They've also open sourced their design so that community members can build their own drones at home and start exploring under water right away.
Brian Adams, VP of Software Development at OpenROV, came across balena while searching for systems that could reliably update their software in the field without bricking devices. They briefly considered building their own DIY solution, but decided to invest in a solution dedicated to solving this problem rather than spend their limited development resources solving it themselves.
The OpenROV team was already on board with Docker as a development and distribution tool and knew they wanted an update solution that incorporated containers. They also needed something that would work on their ARM processors. Enter balena.
By working with balena, the OpenROV team is free to focus on delivering great software and features for their customers, rather than building deployment infrastructure. As Brian says, balena provides "a whole company's worth of engineers solving just that one problem so that when we deploy, we have full confidence that the software will always be updatable in the future. We'd much rather be spending our time coming up with new features for underwater exploration."
Here's the full video (with some awesome footage of underwater drones in action!):
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by Alison DavisCOO at balena

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