The robot is the product of OpenROV, an open-source project to develop a Remotely Operated Vehicle (that’s the ROV part) that can navigate underwater.
Most underwater ROVs are much larger than a human being and cost millions of dollars to buy and maintain. The OpenROV team wanted, instead, to create a robot that would cost less than $1000 and would be much smaller than its counterparts. The result is a machine smaller than a breadbox, which sells (disassembled) for $850. Ray showed us his model, and he talked about the process of getting her to work: