UUV Aquabotix Ltd (ASX:UUV) (“Aquabotix" or the “Company”) is pleased to announce the addition of W.S. Darley & Co. (Darley), a 100-year-old designer, manufacturer and distributor of firefighting, defense and emergency services equipment, as a distributor for Aquabotix in the United States. Through this partnership, Aquabotix will work closely with Darley Defense, a specialty division of Darley that markets new and existing products to the U.S. Department of Defense, to provide its underwater vehicles and camera systems to the U.S. Navy.
“Darley is a first-class company with a track record of dedication, excellence and success,” said Ted Curley, Chief Development Officer of Aquabotix. “They will be an important partner in support of our growing U.S. Navy business with our Endura ROVs and new Hybrid AUV/ROV.”
Aquabotix’s portable and easy to launch Hybrid AUV/ROV (autonomous/remote vehicle) and Endura ROV (remotely operated vehicle) are designed to aid the navies of the world by identifying and addressing increased underwater threats. These threats often occur in hazardous environments that are difficult and dangerous for divers.
“Aquabotix continues to partner with best in class distributors, including Darley, to help achieve our sales goals and increase our presence in the U.S.,” said Durval Tavares, CEO of Aquabotix. “With the addition of Darley to our roster, along with other key distributors, we look forward to reaching a wider range of users and suppliers across multiple sectors, while ensuring our underwater products and vehicles meet our customers’ needs.”
Darley Defense has executed large federal contracts dating back to pre-World War II and is a contract vendor in Defense Logistics Agency’s (DLA) Tailored Logistics Support (TLS) Programs for both fire and emergency services equipment and special operational equipment. The TLS Programs allow authorized government agency customers to quickly and easily allocate funds to procure mission-critical equipment and services. Darley is a supplier and contractor to the U.S. Navy, U.S. Army and U.S. Coast Guard, and is a GSA Schedule (GSA Advantage) prime supplier.
Darley joins several recent distributors to Aquabotix’s global network, including Sadaret Ltd., Seafloor Systems, Deekay Marine Services and A2 Marine Solution.
Commercial Diving is the act of sending professional divers underwater to accomplish extremely skilled and sometimes dangerous work. Commercial Divers can be seen offshore, often working for the oil & gas industry, performing underwater inspections, cleaning, repairing and even welding underwater.
Commercial Diving is critical to the construction, inspection and maintenance of our underwater infrastructure, from boats, bridges, oil rigs, pipelines, and dams. Commercial Divers provide the means for manned underwater intervention. But what happens when the situation poses a significant safety risk? Inspection-class Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) can be used for unmanned intervention, performing many of the same tasks as a diver while reducing risk.
While professional divers will never be replaced due to their unique skills, certifications, and human ingenuity, commercial dive companies which utilize ROVs have a leg up on the competition by offering an extended line of services at a lower price point to meet the needs of a larger customer base. Services including:
The first step in understanding a problem underwater is to survey the situation. For this, an inspection class ROV provides a quick way to get a live video feed underwater, operate continuously, and record video and sonar data of the mission for further analysis.
Remotely Operated Vehicles are routinely equipped with a variety of underwater instruments to collect samples and data in real time. ROV attachments include grabber arms, water and sediment samplers, water quality probes, non-destructive metal thickness gauges, sonar, GPS positioning systems, depth and temperature gauges, and a host of other instruments, all designed to collect the right information in
the right place.
Depending on the size of the ROV, advanced instruments and tooling can be added to accomplish heavy tasks, from salvage to repair. Work-class ROVs often include robotic manipulator arms, tool trays, stabilized thrust and large payload capacity. For deep dives, dangerous locations, and extended operation, ROVs can do a variety of tasks safely.
Whenever your underwater mission calls for inspection, especially in challenging conditions, consider using an ROV to complete the task or to aid divers with preliminary inspection to keep them safe.
UUV Aquabotix Ltd (ASX:UUV) (“Aquabotix" or the “Company”) today introduced Live Remote Control, which allows users to pilot Aquabotix’s underwater vehicles and cameras from any web browser-enabled device, remotely, from anywhere in the world. This class-leading technology has applications for any business, research centre, security force of defence unit with a multi-site presence in the underwater world.
Live Remote Control enables users to operate Aquabotix’s Endura ROV (remotely operated vehicle), Hybrid AUV/ROV (autonomous/remotely operated vehicle) and AquaLens Connect (networked underwater camera system) during underwater activities from any location globally, using browser-based devices such as computers, phones and iPads, over the Internet, without the operator being physically present on-site.
Below is an artist’s rendering of Live Remote Control’s applicability to the aquaculture sector. For example, the operator could be sitting in the head-office in Norway, and controlling an Endura in a fish net at an aquaculture farm off the coast of Chile, thousands of miles away.
Importantly, Live Remote Control also enables multiple operators (in multiple global locations, if needed) to operate the same unmanned underwater vehicle.
Live Remote Control is designed to expand the virtual presence of Aquabotix’s product users, allowing them to better monitor what’s happening at all times, while sharing data across multiple sites. The web-driven innovation also reduces the need for increased or expensive on-site manpower for underwater operations.
This method of operation is conceptually somewhat similar to how the world’s technologically most advanced militaries have, for years, operated battlefield aerial drones from safe locations outside of the theatre of war.
“With Live Remote Control, any browser-based modern device can now interact with our system,” said Durval Tavares, CEO of Aquabotix. “Having our customers operate unmanned systems underwater in a live, immediate fashion, from anywhere in the world, is a game-changer for the underwater robotics industry. Advances in underwater unmanned systems typically lag those in the aerial domain by several years. Aquabotix is proud that the smart computing power of its vehicles enables the company to achieve innovations like these, which are at the forefront of advances in the industry.”
“Driving an underwater vehicle through a web browser previously seemed impossible,” said Ted Curley, Chief Development Officer of Aquabotix. “Live Remote Control now changes the timeline for how underwater processes can be accomplished both on land and under the sea.”
The world’s oceans are the last frontier for discovery on Earth. They have gone largely unexplored throughout history not for lack of curiosity, but due to their vast size and crushing depths. Pioneering work done by ocean explorers, marine researchers, archaeologists and oceanographers over the last few decades have brought us much closer to understanding what lies beneath the ocean, but there is much left to discover. Marine research is one area of ocean exploration which has driven the development of underwater viewing devices, from bathyspheres in the 1930’s to Human Occupied Vehicles (HOVs) such as Woods Hole’s Alvin commissioned in the 1960’s, to today’s most modern Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) such as Woods Hole’s Nereus, which reached a depth of over 35,000 feet in the Mariana Trench in 2009. In each case, the goal has been to go deeper and capture more photos and video of the unknown depths. The dangers of deep water exploration have led most researchers to rely on remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) which allow explorers to do their work from the safety of the surface. Included below are three amazing discoveries made by marine researchers using underwater technology.
1. Discovery of Deep Sea Hydrothermal Vents
(photo credit: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
In 1977 Richard Von Herzen and Robert Ballard of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution discovered hydrothermal vents for the first time during an expedition to explore the Galapagos Rift. The team was measuring deep ocean temperatures by towing a research sled deep under water, and when the temperature reading spiked, they hadn’t just discovered the existence of hydrothermal vents, but to their surprise, they found a vast ecosystem of deep sea animals living around the vents. Like a deep sea oasis in the middle of a deep, dark desert, the hydrothermal vents provided a constant source of hydrogen sulfide, ejected from the earth’s crust through fissures and used by industrious bacteria to create energy by means of chemosythesis. By contrast, most life on earth gets its energy by means of photosynthesis.
2. Discovery of Bone-eating (Osedax) Worms
(Photo credit: Monterey Bay Research Institute)
In 2002 the Monterey Bay Research Institute discovered a new genus of deep-sea worms, dubbed “Zombie Worms” located in the Monterey Canyon. Osedax worms were found colonizing whale falls, the carcasses of dead whales which have settled to the deep ocean floor to decompose. Osedax worms embed themselves in whale bones and bore holes by secreting acid to reach nutrients within the bones. Osedax lack a mouth and a stomach, and completely rely on symbiotic bacteria to extract nutrients from the whale bones. Whale falls are an uncommon occurrence on the ocean floor, but for the most opportunistic and prolific microscopic life, no opportunity is left unused.
3. Discovery of Ghostlike Octopod
(Photo Credit: NOAA)
In 2016 the NOAA Okeanos Explorer discovered what is thought to be a new species of octopod which resembles a ghost, with a translucent white body and stubby arms. The photos and videos of this discovery are just one of dozens captured during the Hohonu Moana Hawaii Deep Water Expedition. Missions such as this create so much data that marine biologists will be analyzing them for years for new discoveries. What’s most exciting is that modern oceanic exploration has become a group activity, by utilizing telepresence and live streaming, experts and the public can drop in on underwater discoveries while they are happening, paving the way for the next generation of explorers to get involved and make a difference.
Each of these three underwater research missions relied on deep sea exploration technology, specifically, ROVs equipped with cameras. Modern day marine researchers have the tools to dive deep and capture stunning images of what lies on the ocean floor. With every new mission comes a chance for new underwater discoveries.
Hydroelectric dams are impressive in both size and scale. Some of the tallest dams stretch over 300 meters tall and the longest dams span nearly 4 miles wide. The single largest reservoir in the world holds 180 cubic kilometers of water, which is roughly 47 trillion gallons, enough to provide the entire United States with water for nearly five months! It’s no wonder that hydro power accounts for 20% of the world’s energy. With such large structures comes a serious need for underwater inspections and preventative maintenance. Inspection class Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) offer a great deal of support for routine dam inspections, including inspecting Face of Dam, Heel and Toe of Dam, Water Intakes, Trash Racks, Penstocks, Turbines, and Lower Outlets.
nDams provide a set of unique challenges for inspection. It’s a dangerous environment, with deep water, fast moving water, turbid outflows, turbines and other entanglements. It’s extremely dangerous and sometimes impossible for divers to inspect these areas while the dam is operational. Only ROVs with the most hydrodynamic design and highest levels of thrust can overcome the demands of dam inspections. Typically, an AC power system is required to keep the vehicle in continuous operation for long shifts or for heavy thruster use to counteract the current, which would otherwise deplete a DC battery system.
ROVs come equipped with a variety of sensors which are extremely helpful for dam inspections. Features such as HD Cameras, High Intensity LED Lights, Sonar, Laser Scaler, Thickness Gauge and Grabber Arm are used heavily. The Camera paired with LED Lights are used for visual inspection and documentation, and are especially useful in deep, dark waters along the bottom of the dam. Sonar is a critical tool for successful navigation in very turbid water where water clarity is minimal. A Laser Scaler emits two lasers at a fixed width, acting like a measuring stick, allowing for accurate measurement of objects by simply looking at them with an ROV. A Non-destructive thickness gauge is used to check the integrity of coatings and measuring corrosion. And a grabber arm can be used to clean trash racks of debris, or to retrieve foreign objects from the water around a dam.
By utilizing inspection class ROVs for dam inspections it eliminates the risk to divers, reduces the down time of dam operations, provides the ability to increase the frequency of inspections and perform preventative maintenance faster while reducing the per-inspection cost.
UUV Aquabotix Ltd (ASX:UUV) (“Aquabotix" or the “Company”) today announced the addition of four new distributors to its global network. The partnerships will help support the company’s global expansion and sale of its underwater robotics products, including its Endura ROV (remotely operated vehicle), Hybrid AUV/ROV (autonomous remote vehicle) and AquaLens Connect underwater camera system. To date, Aquabotix has sold more than 350 vehicles in more than 40 countries.
“We understand the importance of growing our channels to sell through our partnerships with our distributors,” said Ted Curley, chief development officer at Aquabotix and a former Teledyne executive instrumental in securing the new distributors. “The representatives we are partnering with are among the most experienced professionals in the industry and service our primary markets, including oceanography, aquaculture, survey, defense and security.”
Aquabotix’s latest distributors include:
“As the underwater robotics market continues to grow and we continue to expand our global presence, we are always looking for reliable distributors with whom we can partner,” said Durval Tavares, CEO of Aquabotix. “Thanks to these recent additions to our network, we are now in a prime position to reach a wider range of users and suppliers and dramatically increase the distribution of our vehicles worldwide.”
Aquabotix is pleased to welcome another distributor, Deekay Marine Services Pvt. Ltd., to our global network. Established in 1981, Deekay Marine Services is involved in various marine sectors such as Hydrography, Oceanography, Surveillance Systems, Coastal Security Systems, Engineering and Marine Surveying Services. Deekay Marine Services is based in India with a service center in Mumbai.
Environmental research is a vital practice for ensuring our lakes, streams and oceans remain clean and healthy. Collecting water samples in the field is often one of the best ways to monitor water quality. Researchers commonly test for the presence of harmful bacteria, algae blooms, dissolved metals, and agricultural and well as industrial pollutants. Man-made substances such pharmaceuticals and micro plastics also appear in water samples, and the first step in understanding their environmental impact is understanding where they are coming from.
Remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) as well as autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) provide the means to efficiently and accurately capture a series of water samples, along a pre-determined route, at specific GPS coordinates, and even at specific depths. The concentrations of target substances can then be mapped, analyzed over time, and traced back to their source. As with any scientific study, the conclusion is only as good as the data, and ROVs equipped with water samplers give the accuracy and repeatability that are necessary.
How a Water Sampler Works:
Water samplers are simple. They consist of one or more tubular chambers which are open on both ends to allow water to flow freely through it. When the operator triggers the mechanism, the tube is sealed on both ends by a rubber stopper which snaps into place, forming a water-tight chamber. Good water samplers contain multiple chambers, which can be cycled into position and activated, like the chambers of a revolver. By triggering multiple samples at known coordinates or known depths, the water quality data is easier to plot and analyze. ROV’s take the guess work out of this process by providing the depth, heading, and GPS location of each sample as it’s triggered. Through a suite of other on-board sensors, ROVs can simultaneously collect information about water temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, and many other parameters which give a well-rounded set of data points to connect to each water sample.
Aquabotix is pleased to welcome Seafloor Systems, Inc. to our distributor network. With over 20 years experience in the Hydrographic community, Seafloor specializes in integrated hydrographic survey solutions. Their expertise in in complete turnkey, integrated Multibeam and Single Beam solutions.
Aquabotix is pleased to welcome our newest distributor, A2 Marine Solution. Based in Brazil, A2 Marine has more than 15 years of experience, focused on solutions and equipment supply for the hydrography applications, bathymetric surveys and precise positioning.