This week Aquabotix officially launched SwarmDiver at Sea Air and Space 2018. SwarmDiver is a micro swarming unmanned surface vehicle (USV) capable of diving to 50 meters and swarming in groups of 40 or more vehicles. Ocean swarming technologies are just beginning to emerge, and SwarmDiver is a great addition to the market. A swarm is a series of small, cost-effective unmanned vehicles launched from any platform of opportunity which can operate collectively to quickly gather data and report back in near real-time. The swarming algorithm allows vehicles to communicate with each other to make decisions as a group. This allows SwarmDiver to quickly and accurately self-arrange in various swarm formations as well as dive simultaneously to collect synoptic data sets.
SwarmDiver is the perfect tool for the next generation of defense and ocean research applications where speed of data collection and distribution of vehicle systems is critical for success. SwarmDiver is small, smart, and rugged, designed for use in the most challenging marine environments, including sustained surf zone operation. With the ability to be outfitted with customized payloads and sensors, SwarmDiver meets a wide range of mission profiles.
To learn more about SwarmDiver check out our vehicle specification sheet and contact us for more details about building your swarm.
Last week Aquabotix traveled to London, UK to exhibit at the Oceanology International 2018 Exhibition and Conference, March 13-15, 2018. Oceanology International brings together marine professionals and businesses to discuss topics and technology to measure, develop, protect and operate across the world’s oceans.
Aquabotix displayed our technology-leading hardware and software, including the Endura™ ROV, Integra™ Hybrid AUV, and live remote-control software. Visitors at the Aquabotix stand in London, UK were able to take live control of an Endura ROV located in Fall River, MA to remotely pilot the vehicle from a web browser.
Water Linked, an underwater GPS company, had an Endura™ ROV on display which featured a Water Linked GPS, capable of tracking vehicle position using a series of transponders located around the sides of the water tank. Water Linked can be used for accurate vehicle position tracking inside potable water tanks, and alongside ship hulls. Water Linked demonstrated the Endura running “position hold” to remain within the center of the tank.
During the show, Aquabotix also announced the sale of a Hybrid AUV to KIGAM (Korea Institute of Geosicience and Mineral Resources). KIGAM plans to use the Hybrid for ongoing geoscience and energy research in Korean waters. Jung Kyun Shin, KIGAN senior researcher said: “The lightweight feel and ease-of-use of Aquabotix’s Hybrid vehicle will be instrumental in helping us fulfill our research and tasks over multiple missions.”
Ted Curley, Chief Development Officer at Aquabotix noted: “We had a great week at Oceanology International, being able to display our Integra™ Hybrid AUV and Endura™ ROV. Participants loved the live viewing and live remote control to our ROV in Fall River, MA – what a great way to showcase it all!”
To learn more about Aquabotix, visit: www.aquabotix.com
UUV Aquabotix Ltd (ASX:UUV) (“Aquabotix" or the “Company”) today announced the addition of new commercial partner and distributor Azorean Aquatic Technologies, S.A. to help support the company’s global expansion and sale of its underwater robotics products, including its Endura ROV (remotely operated vehicle), Integra AUV/ROV (autonomous underwater vehicle/remotely operated vehicle) and AquaLens Connect underwater camera system. To date, Aquabotix has sold more than 380 vehicles in nearly 60 countries worldwide.
“We welcome Azorean to our distributor and partner network,” said David Batista, CEO of Aquabotix. “We are excited to have a commercial partner in our network that covers a native market encompassing an economic exclusive area in the Atlantic Ocean the size of Europe. This presents us with many opportunities to maximize use of our underwater vehicles and camera systems, which will help advance research and exploration of shallow and deep waters.”
Founded in 2012, Azorean seeks innovative solutions to produce low-cost specialized instruments and autonomous robots for multiple market segments, including recreation, business and scientific exploration. The company’s first product is Ziphius™, an aquatic drone controlled by a smartphone.
Aquabotix and Azorean embody Portugal’s tradition of ocean exploration as both companies have Portuguese roots. Azorean is headquartered in Ponta Delgada, Azores, while Batista and Aquabotix founder and chief technology officer Durval Tavares are both dual citizens of Portugal and the United States.
“While Azorean is primarily a consumer product-oriented aquatic technologies company, we are frequently approached to deliver products and services to professional clients in the fishing, aquaculture, yachting, scientific research, environmental monitoring, security and harbor services sectors,” said António Câmara, chairman of Azorean. “Those products and services typically fall in the autonomous and remotely operated underwater vehicles category, and require high-quality cameras and sensors. In Aquabotix, we have found a high-quality supplier of these solutions.”
For more information, please visit www.aquabotix.com.
Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and weights, but no matter the make or model of underwater vehicle, there are a set of best practices to keep in mind when transporting an ROV to and from a mission site. For the purposes of this article, we’ll focus on inspection class mini ROVs which don’t require flat bed trucks, cranes or research vessels for portage:
Protect Vehicle and Instruments with Purpose-Built Hard Cases
Protecting your hardware during travel begins with how well its packed. Underwater vehicle systems are sold with hard carrying cases such as Pelican cases. Single Lid Cases or ISP (Inter Stacking Pattern) Cases are the most common options, especially those which can be carried with handles, moved with wheels, and stacked together for transport. What’s inside a case is equally important – the interior protection offered by precision cut foam, Velcro cinch straps, and shock mounts will reduce overall shock and vibration on your parts and increase their travel lifespan.
Always Organize Cases for Field Work
Before you depart for a mission, pack all equipment in a way which makes it easy to find and access each component once you are on location. Field deployment, maintenance and repairs are challenging enough; Make sure you are never left searching or digging through piles of equipment to find the tool you need by anticipating how and when each piece of equipment and their associated parts will be used when you arrive on-site.
Know the Regulations on Lithium Battery Transport
If your underwater vehicles or equipment are battery powered, you should get familiar with Lithium Battery regulations, especially for air transport. Rechargeable lithium batteries are great for powering electronics, but they are also regarded as Dangerous Goods. Regulations may change over time, and change between country of origin and destination, so keeping current on rules is a must. The two organizations to check include the US Department of Transportation as well as the International Air Transport Association (IATA). In general, the size, number of cells, and total power of lithium batteries allowed for transport may vary, as well as if the battery is permanently installed or traveling as a backup power source, and whether its traveling on a passenger or cargo flight.
Pressure Changes During Air Transport
Before transporting a sealed vehicle by air, always refer to the user manual and manufacturer instructions for Air Transport. All Underwater Vehicles need to be waterproof, which means the vehicle is sealed from water, but it’s also sealed from the external atmosphere, which may cause problems. Some ROVs are sealed with one atmosphere of air pressure at sea level, which must be vented during flight; other ROVs are vacuum sealed and won’t require venting for travel but will always require a vacuum to be drawn after internal vehicle maintenance is performed. Not adhering to manufacturer instructions can cause damage and leaks in either scenario, which could end a mission before it begins.
Always Ask for Accessible Accommodations
Whenever travel takes you away from home with a truck full of equipment, always make sure you book accessible accommodations. First floor hotel rooms are a must, so is picking a room adjacent to ramps nearest to parking areas. When planning ground transport, make sure your vehicle can accommodate all equipment cases you are carrying. Additionally, travel with bungee cords, cargo nets or ratchet straps to secure all cases from shifting.
Have a Work Space Prepared for Use
Whether you deploy an ROV from a boat, the shore, or a dock, your destination often isn’t built to accommodate the launch and operation of underwater vehicles. Before arrival, understand the work surfaces you will have available, and if they are inadequate, bring portable equipment such as tables, chairs, sun shades and work benches to stage your mission successfully. When working on boats, always plan for rough seas and secure your work surfaces accordingly.
Shipping Equipment Through Freight and Package Carriers
Extra care should be taken when shipping equipment in advance of your arrival. Freight carriers are adept at getting your cargo from point A to point B, but making sure it arrives intact often comes down to how well the freight is packaged and labeled by the shipper. Individual Hard Cases should have collapsible handles, wheels, inspection locks, tamper evident zip ties, and impact indicators to increase safe delivery rates. When possible, packing multiple smaller cases that are under 50 pounds can alleviate rough handling by carriers because each case can be handled by a single person. When the amount of gear increases, palletizing cargo becomes the most efficient option, which might mean stacking cases on a single pallet, or when security is an issue, custom pallet crates can add a second layer of protection. Before your hardware is shipped through a third party, always take photos before and after transport, and accurately declare its value to protect your investment.
With these tips and a little planning, you should encounter far less friction when transporting remotely operated vehicles to and from job locations. If you have additional transport tips, share them with us on Twitter @Aquabotix!
Multibeam sonar systems work by emitting a specific frequency of sound wave in a fan shape which bounces off the sea floor and returns to the receiver. The result is an image which shows detailed depth data and refreshes several times per second. High frequency multibeam sonar systems allow for higher resolution mapping at closer ranges, revealing enough detail to accurately identify underwater targets even in low visibility water conditions. Each multibeam sonar system is rated for a certain field of view (degrees of viewable image) and range (meter depth to sea floor before the sound bounces back).
As multibeam sonar systems have progressed, they have become smaller, lighter, more cost-effective, and easier to use. These advances have allowed multibeam sonar to be deployed to a wide range of vessels and underwater vehicles. Some of the smallest multibeam sonar systems, such as the Oculus M series multibeam sonar from Blueprint Subsea, are designed for use with inspection-class ROVs. When mounted to ROVs and AUVs, multibeam sonar is most often used to locate underwater objects. Interpreting a multibeam sonar image takes some experience and skill but it becomes much easier when you know what you’re looking for; Blueprint gives an example of what a Tire looks like, which is easily identified from the sea floor. When used for Search and Recovery, sonar is sometimes the only way to locate a lost person or object. When used for offshore oil and gas, sonar is often used to survey the sea floor in a lawnmower pattern, or for following underwater cables/infrastructure.
Whatever the application, multibeam sonar is an important option for all underwater vehicles which need to efficiently cover large search areas and become almost mandatory when used in low visibility or turbid environments where a live video feed is less effective. To learn more about how to mount a multibeam sonar system to a ROV, contact us!
We are pleased to welcome OceanNet to the Aquabotix Distributor Network. Based in Spain, OceanNet Consultoria y Sistemas Ambientales is a company whose main focus is specialized environmental consulting in terrestrial, coastal and oceanographic areas.
Name: Micah Boswell
Title: Software Engineer
What do you do at Aquabotix?
I develop asset software. A typical day for me includes code, more code and sometimes wet code.
What drew you to Aquabotix?
The idea of a hybrid ROV/AUV. I found an industry directory published by an industry magazine, read through all of the company descriptions, and chose the one that I believed had the most potential. I was drawn by the fact that Aquabotix is leading the way into an entirely new concept of hybrid vehicle operations.
What are 3 words you would describe to describe Aquabotix?
Ambitious, really ambitious.
What is your proudest moment at Aquabotix?
Showing off the web control interface streaming video to 8 devices at once.
What has been the most important innovation you have witnessed in your lifetime?
Practical machine learning. It's been on every technologist's wish list for a long time, but it's starting to actually work.
What could you teach me in 5 minutes?
A better way to tie your shoes.
Favorite Travel Destination?
San Diego. Mostly for the weather.
Rocket Boys by Homer Hickham Jr.
What's the coolest thing you are working on right now?
Top Secret. No Comment.
What is the most important thing you have learned in the last 5 years?
There is no substitute for getting your hands dirty with a real application of your product. You can spend years in predictive analysis and simulation, but if, when the propellers meet the water, nothing works, it was a big waste of time. Aquabotix has the hands-on approach that gets the customer the product they want, not just the paperwork.
In December 2017, graduate students from the Dept. of Ocean Engineering at the Graduate School of Oceanography - University of Rhode Island, in collaboration with the Marine Renewable Energy Collaborative (MRECo) of Marion MA , deployed an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) in the Cape Cod Canal. The instrument is doing a high resolution study on the currents at the MRECo Bourne Tidal Test Site adjacent to the Train Bridge. An Aquabotix Endura 100 was deployed from shore to confirm the position of the ADCP on the bottom of the Canal in the vicinity of the Tidal Test Platform.
Bourne Tidal Test Site Manager C. Eben Franks said: “Aquabotix has been a true world-leader in support of research and educational programs. Their ROVs are lightweight, easy to deploy, simple to operate and have had a real impact on our ability to document conditions at our test site.” Executive Director of MRECo, John Miller, added: “We looked into other alternatives and found that Aquabotix had the best solution for our needs.”
Police and law enforcement authorities at the local, state and national level are regularly called upon to enter the underwater world to do their jobs. Underwater search & rescue, recovery and investigations are time sensitive operations often performed in extremely challenging conditions. In emergency situations, the first ones to enter the water are Public Safety Divers (PSDs), which include police, sheriffs, fire rescue, and specially trained Search and Rescue (SAR) dive teams. From under ice search and recovery performed at night on thin ice to criminal forensics evidence retrieval in polluted or fast-moving water to port security hull inspections in busy waterways – there are many conditions which are too dangerous for public safety divers to enter the water. In cases such as these, an inspection class remotely operated vehicle (ROV) is the preferred tool to quickly and safely complete the task.
Important Features for Security and Law Enforcement ROVs:
When planning underwater missions for security, law enforcement, and recovery, key features which are required for an ROV to perform under demanding conditions include:
HD pan & tilt camera: When performing visual inspections, HD video and images help you see the underwater world in greater detail, allowing authorities to discover, positively identify, and record HD video and images of mission targets:
High intensity LED lights:
Underwater search and recovery missions are extremely time sensitive. When operating at night, and when diving deep, high powered LED lights are needed to illuminate the underwater world to continue the search.
Sonar: Lakes, streams, ponds, oceans – each body of water can have limited visibility due to particles in the water, dissolved organic matter, as well as temperature and salinity gradients. When visibility is low, an underwater camera becomes significantly less effective than sonar, which provides an accurate picture of the ocean floor using only sound – targets can be located without being seen directly:
Grabber arm: When an underwater target is positively identified, such as forensics evidence, a grabber arm is deployed from the front of an ROV to securely grip the object for retrieval at the surface:
GPS Location: When a search is conducted, it’s important to keep search vehicles within a search grid, or focused at a last known location. On-board GPS allows an ROV to accurately report its location. When points of interest are identified, those surface locations are recorded.
Powerful thrust: Operating in fast moving water such as rivers, tidal channels and open ocean currents can quickly tire divers, Only the most powerful ROVs can provide enough thrust to operate effectively in moving water.
On-board battery power: When deploying search missions in remote areas, it’s important to consider how much equipment needs to be hauled in to get started. ROVs with on-board battery power operate independently of a topside power source and can be deployed in the most remote areas.
Temperature rating: Coastal water temperatures can often approach freezing during the winter months. For prolonged dives, even the best dry suit becomes ineffective and will severely limit search times. ROVs with operating temperature ranges Down to -10° Celsius/14° Fahrenheit allow vehicles to operate under the ice all winter long.
Deployment speed: During Search and Recovery, time is of the essence. ROV systems must be quickly deployed in just a few minutes in order to be effective.
Video recording & cloud storage: ROVs can record all aspects of a mission, most importantly, video, images and sonar. Recording these files can prove invaluable when used as direct evidence, and for future mission training.
No matter the mission, when security and law enforcement officers enter the underwater world, they are placed at a significant disadvantage. ROVs designed for police and law enforcement use help tip the scales back in favor of the mission. When piloted by an experienced operator, ROVs can help to speed up missions while reducing risk to divers.
UUV Aquabotix Ltd (“Aquabotix" or the “Company”) recently announced the addition of five new distributors to its global network. These partnerships will help support the company’s global expansion and sale of its underwater robotics products, including its Endura ROV (remotely operated vehicle), Integra AUV/ROV (autonomous underwater vehicle/remotely operated vehicle) and AquaLens Connect underwater camera system. To date, Aquabotix has sold more than 400 vehicles in nearly 60 countries worldwide.
“Our new distributors bring unique industry expertise to our business, and knowledge about many of our primary markets, including aquaculture and defense,” said Ted Curley, Chief Development Officer at Aquabotix. “They will be essential partners for Aquabotix as we further expand our channels to sale throughout the world and target new regions impacted by the growing underwater drone market.”
Aquabotix’s latest distributors include:
“We are excited to grow our network of distributors who will work to increase Aquabotix’s brand and presence globally,” said David Batista, CEO of Aquabotix. “With these recent additions, 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’ respective needs.”