Our T200 Thruster is one of our core products. Along with the T100 Thruster, it’s the first product we launched in our 2014 Kickstarter campaign! Since then, it’s become the most popular underwater thruster in the world and there are thousands of them powering all sorts of marine ROVs, AUVs, boats, and even human-carrying vehicles!
The T200 Thruster uses our patented underwater thruster design consisting of a fully-flooded brushless motor with encapsulated motor windings and stator as well as coated magnets and rotor. The thruster body and propeller are made from tough polycarbonate plastic and the only exposed metal components are made from marine grade 316 stainless steel.
The fully-flooded design is unique compared to thrusters existing before the T200. It allows the motor to be water-cooled and the plastic bushings to be water-lubricated. It eliminates the need for shaft seals, magnetic couplings, and air- or oil-filled compartments, making the thruster naturally pressure tolerant. The design is compact and has a minimal number of parts so that we can offer it at an affordable price.
The core motor design is a three-phase brushless outrunner motor, similar to what you’d see on drones and RC airplanes, but optimized for underwater use. A sensorless brushless electronic speed controller (ESC) like our Basic ESC is required to run the thruster in all situations. It’s optimized to run at a voltage of 16v (such as a 4s lithium-ion battery pack), but can run at a range of voltages. Check out the detailed performance charts on the Technical Details tab for more information.
ROV, AUV, and Underwater Drone Thruster Applications
The T200 Thruster is used on a number of underwater ROVs, AUVs, and underwater drones including our flagship underwater ROV, the BlueROV2. The thrusters provide compact but powerful underwater propulsion on the ROV.
The thrusters are also used on AUV platforms such as the RangerBot from QUT and many others, making autonomous underwater robotics an affordable possibility for researchers, scientists, and businesses.
The T200 Thruster powers a number of underwater drones designed to inspect, explore, and film underwater infrastructure, ships, aquaculture pens, and shipwrecks.
USVs, Kayaks, and SUPs Thruster Applications
The T200 Thruster can propel robotic unmanned surface vessels (USVs) and flexible mounting options make it easy to turn just about anything that floats into a USV! We’ve seen it used on anything from a boogie board to a commercial grade survey vessel.
Combined with a battery, ESC, and the Thruster Commander, it’s easy to use on a kayak or stand-up paddleboard (SUP) as well! Two T200s on a paddleboard will get it moving at over 3 knots!
MATE, RoboSub, and Robotics Competition Applications
In addition to commercial and research applications, the T200 Thruster is the thruster of choice for MATE ROV competitions, the RoboSub AUV competition, and other competitions including RoboBoat, European Robotics League (ERL), and the Singapore AUV Challenge (SAUVC). The T200 provides an affordable and reliable thruster option to replace the bilge pump motors and expensive thrusters used in the past.
Using the T200 Thruster
The T200 Thruster comes ready to use and includes both clockwise and counterclockwise propellers. In addition to the thruster, you need a speed controller like our Basic ESC, a power source like our battery, and a signal source, such as our Thruster Commander, an RC radio receiver, or a microcontroller like the Arduino or Raspberry Pi.
There is a wealth of available technical information, charts, code examples, and tutorials on the Technical Details and Learn sections of this page as well as support through our online forum community. There you can find users doing all sorts of interesting things ranging from generative ROV design to freediving jet boots to lionfish hunting robots!
We’re excited to see what you do with it!