Underwater camera technology is constantly evolving, and a major influence for change comes from the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) market. ROVs by their very nature are designed to travel to extremely demanding places, from the depths of the dark ocean floor, to the watery confines of sunken ships, and everywhere in between. One of the most important pieces of technology carried by an observation class ROV is its onboard underwater camera.
When you need a live view from beneath the surface, the camera you select is arguably the most important piece of hardware. However, the direction your ROV is driving isn’t always the direction you need to view underwater, and instead of turning the vehicle to turn the camera, we’ve built a 360 degree rotating camera to give our operators complete freedom to look in any direction.
How does it work?
The 360 degree rotating camera is an auxiliary camera mounted to the top of our Endura and Hybrid vehicles. It complements the pan and tilt camera which is always built inside the body of the ROV. A driver may select which camera to view (front facing camera or 360 degree rotating camera) and then freely look around. Once the camera has swiveled 180 degrees in one direction, it can then turn 360 degrees in the other direction, this allows 360 degrees of view without twisting the camera wires.
Why is it useful?
Many times, ROVs will land on the bottom of a body of water, hover around a point of interest, or drive straight into a strong water current. In these cases, the pan and tilt function of the onboard camera may not be sufficient to fully observe your surroundings without first turning the vehicle. With a 360 degree rotating camera you are free to look around while the vehicle maintains its current course and speed. This added freedom allows the operator to get the best video underwater video by always pointing the camera at the observation target, resulting in higher quality video records to accomplish any observation and inspection mission.