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.