Episode One: The DIY Explorers

David Lang is a maker and author who, together with Eric Stackpole, cofounded OpenROV, an online community of robot makers and marine explorers. In Driven’s premier episode, Lang and Stackpole demo the project’s first device, an underwater, open-source robot that was designed by OpenROV members.


About David Lang and Eric Stackpole

David Lang and Eric Stackpole founded OpenROV in 2010, creating a groundbreaking new way for amateur explorers and engineers to probe the depths of the ocean. OpenROV, a DIY community and line of underwater robots, was the brainchild of Stackpole, who came up with the concept while thinking of ways to explore an ocean cave rumored to contain buried treasure near his home in California. A Santa Clara University alum with a degree in mechanical engineering, Stackpole spent four years working as a mechanical engineer for NASA and expects to receive a Masters degree in the field by 2014. He and Lang, a TED Fellow and contributing editor at MAKE: Magazine, began working on OpenROV in a garage in Cupertino, California. Short for “open source remotely operated vehicle”, the OpenROV is a robotic submarine constructed from everyday materials. They turned to Kickstarter to crowdfund the project in 2012, and have since nurtured a flowering online community where users collaborate to improve the vehicle. Lang wrote about his experiences with crowdsourced DIY projects in the book 'Zero to Maker: Learn (Just Enough) to Make (Just About) Anything,' and OpenROV has gone on to receive glowing praise. In 2012, the New York Times said OpenROV "could change the future of ocean exploration."

Learn more about the OpenROV project in this gallery taken on location during the shoot of 'The DIY Explorers,' which includes shots of Eric Stackpole and David Lang preparing and launching the mini-sub on its exploration of the Hall City Caves. View Gallery »


In this full 360-degree immersive video, David Lang and Eric Stackpole explain the crowdfunded and crowdsourced origins of the OpenROV on Kickstarter, as well as the Hall City Cave, where they took the mini-submarine for a test drive. Watch »

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