Maker Spotlight: Erica Moulten

Education Robotics Science Technology
Maker Spotlight: Erica Moulten

Name: Erica Moulten
St. Petersburg, Florida
St. Pete Makers
Day Job:
Science and Education Contractor & Consultant


Underwater ROV : Marine Science : Education

How’d you get started making? I’ve always been a maker. Both of my parents were such a big influence in this pursuit. My father was in construction and really into the HAM radio movement. I think I still owe him a new hammer, a few cases of nails, and maybe even a handsaw or two. My sister and I spent our childhood building forts in the woods and all manner of floating contraptions to travel down the mangrove canals near our home. I even recall an attempt at a bike ramp build after watching some primetime Evil Knievel stunt. My mom was a wonder to watch. So skilled with everything she put her hands on. Intricate cake decorations, helping us create furniture for our dolls, and completely re-doing the inside of our family camper. My favorite memory was the 10 gallon buckets turned into mushrooms, complete with soft tops to sit on.

What type of maker would you classify yourself as? Hmmm…how about an “anything is possible” maker? I am always up for the challenge. I particularly enjoy working on things related to marine science and marine technology.


What’s your favorite thing you’ve made recently? Right now? I have two. I attended a SeaGlide workshop at the Navy’s Carderock facility in DC. I learned how to make a SeaGlide AUV. I’m in love with this little AUV and intend to share it with everyone! My second is a bike built for two. I didn’t build the bike. I found it in a garage sale for $50, but I’ve been working on fixing it up and changing some parts and pieces to make it more fun.

And what about your all-time favorite? It would be my technical contributions to the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) kits used in student competitions and simple ocean exploration. I still sell my own kits and love to teach people how to work in the underwater world. Not many things beat the feeling I get when I watch someone’s face light up after I help them turn a plastic coat hanger into an underwater robot! The little coat hanger ROV is the perfect hands-on lesson to get nearly everyone over their fears of working with electronics and water.

What’s something you’d like to make next? It’s a toss up between sensors for the AUV kit and the tiny library. Truth be told I’ve started on the library already with my kids.

Any advice for people reading this? Visit your local makerspace. Want to learn to code? To solder? To cut wood trim for a picture frame? Nearly any skill set you can imagine is available to you – the collaboration, sharing, and support is outstanding!

Who else should we profile? I’d love to see Matthis Elliot and Joe Espo in here!

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Kids showing off their ROVs constructed from coat hangers
Kids showing off their ROVs constructed from coat hangers

ROV Octo

Find Erica around the web:
Her Twitter  |  Center for Open Exploration  |  PVC ROV  |  St. Pete Makers

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Sophia is the managing editor of the Make: blog. When she’s not greasing editorial gears, she likes to run, ride, climb, and lift things, and make lo-tech goods like zines, desserts, and altered clothing. @sophiuhcamille

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