TIP - Buyer Beware! IP68 Waterproof Servos and Cameras

What: Servos and cameras advertised as IP68 waterprooof often fail with continual ROV underwater use and depths over one meter. 

Who: MATE Staff

ROV Systems: Payload and video

Competition Class: ALL

Pros: Inexpensive parts, available through many online stores

Cons: Difficult to tell which products may fail with longer ROV use underwater and increasing depths.

MATE Insights: An IP (ingress protection) rating only guarantees a product is waterproof under certain conditions (application, depths, and durations).  The manufacturer can specify some of these conditions and have an IP68 waterproof product even though the product may FAIL on your ROV.  One manufacture’s product may be IP68 waterproof to a depth of 5 meters, while another product may be IP68 waterproof to a depth of 1 meter. This may be annoying since initially a product will work on the ROV, but over time water may leak into the component, causing it to fail.  It is best to clarify with the manufacture exactly what their “IP68 waterproof” specifications are.  Even better, test the purchased products to determine its waterproof parameters over time. 

Do NOT assume products that are IP68 will work on your ROV without testing them at your operating depths for extended periods of time!


Search Words: Waterproof hobby servo, waterproof car backup camera

Compiled by: Jim McDonnell, P.E., MATE Engineering Instructor