One of the most common uses for commercial underwater remote-operated vehicles (ROVs) is in conducting inspections of water tanks, ship hulls, and submerged infrastructure such as bridge components or dams. A critical element of these inspections is measuring the thickness of metal components like hulls or girders. How do ROVs conduct this type of measurement?
On the Aquabotix Endura line of high-performance commercial ROVs, we offer the Cygnus NDT Metal Thickness gauge as an optional accessory. These gauges use ultrasound technology to measure the thickness of metal objects underwater. By emitting an ultrasonic beam into the surface of the metal and analyzing the return sound, the Cygnus NDT can measure metal of thicknesses up to 10”, even through coatings such as paint up to 0.787” thick.
The Cygnus NDT is extremely easy to use. The included CygLink software allows the ROV operator to visualize the tool’s measurements remotely on the video feed. To make things even easier, the optional Cygnus Probe Handler automatically aligns the probe to the wall or item being measured, with 15 degrees of movement, even if the operator has not perfectly approached the measurement subject.
Tools like the Cygnus greatly enhance the utility of our Endura ROVs. As ROVs take on more responsible roles in things like underwater inspections, the need for tools such as the Cygnus will continue to grow.
There have been several news stories recently about challenges with Lithium Ion batteries. Most notable is the situation with the Samsung Galaxy 7 but issues with airplanes, hover boards and other personal electronics have been in the headlines.
Since their introduction in the early 1990s, Lithium Ion batteries have become the standard for consumer electronics devices, including smartphones, smartwatches, laptops and cameras. Aquabotix utilizes Lithium Ion batteries to power our ROVs because of their performance and has found them to be very reliable, stable and safe. We have experienced no reports of any problems with these batteries from our customers.
Most Aquabotix ROVs have only internal batteries. That is, the only way to charge the batteries is while they are inside the vehicle and charged through the topside box or vehicle charging port. When charging the batteries inside your vehicle, the danger of fire caused by the overhearing or other failure is minimal. Still it is prudent to charge the batteries only until they are fully charged (charger LED light changes from red to green) and then to unplug the charger from the electric power source.
Some commercial ROV users have purchased additional batteries and external battery chargers from Aquabotix. If you have extra batteries and external chargers, please follow these precautionary steps.
- Always make certain that the batteries, connectors, charger and all other parts are clean and dry.
- Make certain that the batteries and charger are paired as they were supplied to you. Do not mix batteries from one vehicle with another. Do not use any charger other than the one supplied with your vehicle.
- When externally charging batteries, it is advised that the batteries be contained in a fire retardant or fireproof safety bag designed specifically for this purpose. These can be purchased inexpensively or, if you purchased extra batteries and an external charger from Aquabotix, we will be happy to send you a safety bag at no charge. Please contact Aquabotix Customer Service with your vehicle serial number.
If you will be traveling by air with your ROV batteries, please contact Aquabotix Customer Service for further instructions.
Aquabotix is committed to the satisfaction and safety of our customers and users. We appreciate your support and are happy to answer any questions you may have.
Phone: +1 508 676 1000
There are basically two kinds of power systems for tethered underwater remote operated vehicles (ROVs). One type of ROV has a power cable running down the tether, and the ROV gets the electricity to run its motors, operate its lights and sensors, etc., from a shore station, either a large battery pack or an electrical connection. The other type of ROV carries its power supply internally, generally in the form of high-capacity rechargeable lithium battery pack.
For some specialized missions, an ROV powered from the shore has its uses. However, for most types of ROV operations, a battery-powered ROV like the Aquabotix Endura or Hydroview Sport has the clear advantage. There are three main factors that make running an ROV from battery power the better choice.
First, battery power is portable. A battery-powered ROV can be deployed anywhere the ROV can be carried to, and the lightweight ROVs made by Aquabotix can be carried by one person to almost any location on Earth. Battery-powered ROVs can be deployed from the beach, from a small boat, from an oceangoing ship, from an offshore platform – if a person or vehicle can get there, then a battery-powered ROV can go with them and engage in missions from that spot.
Second, battery power is compact. The person or team deploying a battery-powered ROV does not need to carry a bulky generator with them to remote areas in order to send the ROV on missions. They can carry the charged ROV to the entry point and work from there without needing any expensive and heavy infrastructure. This makes a one-off mission even in the remotest areas simply a matter of putting the charged ROV in a vehicle (or even a backpack) and heading out.
Third, because radio waves do not carry well underwater, all non-autonomous ROVs use a tether to provide control and communication with the operator. In an ROV that relies on shore-based power, this tether also carries the electrical power the ROV uses for its operations. That means the tether must be much thicker for a shore-powered ROV. For example, a typical power-carrying cable might be [X – Beats me <g>] millimeters in diameter, while the tether for an Aquabotix ROV has a diameter of only [X] millimeters. Of course, a thicker tether is also a heavier tether – 250 meters of standard power-carrying tether weighs [X] kilograms, while the same Aquabotix tether weighs only [X]. This makes moving and deploying the battery-powered ROV much simpler and easier.
Battery-powered ROVs are simply easier to deploy, easier to carry, and able to operate in places that powered ROVs cannot.
AQUABOTIX INTRODUCES NEW MINI INSPECTION CLASS ROV – THE ENDURA
Intuitive software and robust hardware make the Aquabotix Endura the most innovative and advanced mini-ROV on the market.
FALL RIVER, MA – May 19, 2016– Aquabotix, a marine technology company delivering the accessibility of today’s electronics products to the complex world of underwater ROVs, announces the immediate availability of the Endura. The Endura has been engineered for dependability and functionality across a wide range of underwater applications. It surpasses other mini ROVs in thrust, dependability and software performance.
Endura is easy to use – it is ready for the water in 3 minutes, basic driver competency is developed in about 3 hours with professional proficiency achieved in 3 days. Endura is intelligent – a full computer is built inside the vehicle and auto controls are available in the software. Endura is high performance – with hydrodynamic design for ultimate control in the water and powered by high torque motors for up to 5 knots of thrust. The Endura configuration includes:
Endura operates on lithium battery technology with a standard operational run time of 4 hours. Available as an option, AC power can be used for continuous operation. Other options include:
“Innovation is the cornerstone of Aquabotix mission and the Endura is the latest example of our constantly evolving technology,” said Durval Tavares, President & CEO, “With roots from our successful series of HydroView ROVs, the Endura is a refined advancement with our latest hardware and software innovations. Our customers are tackling very complex underwater tasks and the Endura is a response to their needs and requests. Every feature of this vehicle has been designed with ease of use and performance in mind.”
Endura pricing starts at $17,000 and is currently available for order from Aquabotix. For more information, please call: +1 508 676 1000 or visit http://www.aquabotix.com/professional-rovs---endura.html.
Aquabotix Technology Corporation, located in southern New England, is a privately-funded developer of consumer and commercial products for underwater observation and exploration endeavoring to change the way people interact with the underwater world. Aquabotix’s flagship offerings, the Endura remote operated submersible vehicle (ROV) and the AquaLens underwater viewing system, employ the latest technology to enable users to comfortably inspect beneath the water’s surface from the safety of topside. For more information on Aquabotix Technology Corporation and its offerings, please visit: http://www.aquabotix.com/
The Aquabotix HydroView and Endura remote-operated vehicle (ROV) family have any number of terrific features that set them apart from the competition. Among the most compelling of those features are those which make the Aquabotix ROVs extremely easy to use. The ability to control a full-featured ROV using a gamepad controller, an iPad, or a laptop, and the company’s commitment to the 3-3-3 learning curve model (three minutes to get into the water, three hours to learn how to drive, three days to mastery) makes learning to use the vehicles very simple.
Aquabotix is now expanding that ease of use with the development of a new self-diagnostics panel on all ROV software. The self-diagnostic panel helps even the most inexperienced users quickly identify and fix any problems that may hold up the deployment of an Aquabotix ROV. The diagnostics panel can be called up on the iPad or laptop being used to run the Aquabotix software by clicking on the ‘Diagnostics’ icon at the right side of the bottom control panel.
The self-diagnostic panel has four major elements. At the top is the System Overview, a graphical representation of the entire chain of communication from the controlling PC to the ROV itself. At the bottom left is the App pane, with information about the controlling PC. In the bottom center is the Network Statistics pane, and at the bottom right we find the Vehicle Information pane. We’ll take a quick look at each of these elements.
The System Overview panel provides an at-a-glance status report on the communication and control path between the controlling PC and the ROV. This pane gives a graphic representation of the status of your PC, your PC’s connection to its own network, the topside box which interfaces between your PC network and the ROV, the wired connection between the topside box and the ROV, and the ROV itself. These status displays are simplified to a green check (all is well), a red ‘X’ (something is not working), and a yellow ‘!’ (there is some important piece of information relating to this element of the system which you need to see). Looking at this panel gives the user a quick assessment of the system status when things are working properly, and an exact idea of where the problem is when they are not.
The other sections of the self-diagnostic panel provide useful information for drilling down deeper into any problems that arise. The App pane gives some basic information about your PC, including the current software version, whether your PC is supported by the Aquabotix software, whether a gamepad controller is connected, and how your local video performance is holding up. The Network Statistics pane tells you the health of the network connections to the topside box, alerting you to any latency issues, and also gives statistics on the health of the video feed from the ROV. Finally, the Vehicle Information pane tells you the current date and time, the vehicle’s current uptime, the time of the last shutdown, and information about the vehicle version.
Using the self-diagnostics panel in the Aquabotix software package allows even beginning ROV users to quickly identify the source of any problems with their ROV deployment, making it even quicker and easier to get into the water and get to work.
Thank you to Unmanned Systems and author Marc Selinger for their coverage of Aquabotix in the February edition of the magazine.
To learn more about Unmanned Systems, please visit http://www.auvsi.org/publications/unmannedsystemsmagazine.
Thank you to Aquaculture North America for the coverage of the HydroView pro 7M/AQ in the Jan/Feb 2016 edition. The HydroView Pro 7M/AQ is configured specifically to address the needs of aquaculture applications and includes options most requested by fish farm operators.
To learn more about Aquaculture North America, visit their website at www.aquaculturenorthamerica.com.
2015 was a big year for Aquabotix. Here are some of the highlights of our year:
Launched Two New Products:
Launched a New Website
Aquabotix attended and exhibited at a variety of trade shows including:
Moved to a New Corporate Headquarters
Participated in a Variety of Volunteer Opportunities including: