UUV Aquabotix Ltd (ASX:UUV) (“Aquabotix" or the “Company”) today introduced its second-generation hybrid underwater vehicle, the Integra AUV/ROV (autonomous underwater vehicle/remotely operated vehicle). Single-person deployable, portable and lithium ion battery-powered, the Integra AUV/ROV allows users to conduct multiple underwater missions, while providing a cost-efficient alternative to deploying separate AUVs and ROVs for individualized tasks.
The Integra AUV/ROV can be configured with multiple sensors and maneuvered by an easy-to-use intuitive platform accessible from any web-enabled device. The vehicle is designed for use across several sectors, including law enforcement, research, environmental assessment, defense and infrastructure, and can search wide areas using AUV mode (untethered) while conducting detailed inspections using ROV mode (tethered). Users can easily switch from AUV mode to ROV mode by attaching the tether to remotely control the vehicle’s six degrees of freedom of motion. When running the vehicle in autonomous operation, all mission planning is completed in an intuitive Windows-based application.
“With the Integra Hybrid AUV/ROV, we have added more functionality to a single vehicle,” said David Batista, CEO of Aquabotix. “Because this vehicle has the brain power to conduct autonomous missions as well as detailed inspections in a single setting, operators have immediate and complete control. The introduction of the Integra AUV/ROV is the next step in the evolution of underwater vehicles and illustrates how Aquabotix continues to successfully meet the demands of underwater exploration and inspection.”
Other features of the Integra AUV/ROV include:
“Our second-generation hybrid, the Integra, leverages the strongest innovative capabilities of both types of underwater vehicles. Yet in utilizing our hybrid digital platform, users no longer need two vehicles to explore and conduct tasks underwater. Now, they can activate AUV mode for broad range searches, while switching to ROV capabilities for more in-depth analysis of underwater conditions,” said Durval Tavares, Chief Technology Officer of Aquabotix. “Simply put, the Integra AUV/ROV is a force multiplier for our customers.”
Aquabotix recently announced its new Live Remove Control product feature, which customers can use to pilot underwater vehicles, store, analyze and share data, from any web browser-enabled device, remotely, from anywhere in the world. Aquabotix’s entire family of products, including the Integra, are now equipped with this class leading functionality.
To watch the Integra AUV/ROV in action, please visit:
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.”
In the post-9/11 era, the security of sea and river ports became an issue of great and pressing public
concern. Thanks to the efforts of multiple layers of government and private security, no major terrorist
attacks at US ports have occurred since that dark day. However, port security remains a critical area for national and local law enforcement, and it is an area where remote operated vehicles (ROVs) such as the Endura 100 SLE can make major contributions.
There are 360 commercial sea and river ports in the United States alone, and those ports handle
approximately one-fifth of the global maritime trade. These ports handle more than 70,000 large ships
(and an innumerable plethora of smaller craft) annually, carrying more than two billion tons of cargo in
and out of the United States. Securing and ensuring the safety of that much traffic is a job of stupendous
ROVs can help with this task in a number of important ways.
The underwater physical infrastructure of the port itself, as well as the submerged hulls of vessels using
the port, are key areas for port security concerns. However, visual inspection of these zones is often
problematic. Ports are highly-trafficked areas, which creates safety concerns for human divers. In
addition, the visibility conditions beneath ships and around piers are often exceptionally poor. Silt
movement from tidal flows and bottom stirring from vehicle traffic can make it almost impossible for a
human diver to see.
ROVs like the Endura 100 SLE ROV can be equipped with 360-degree scanning sonar, allowing the
ROV to see things where a human diver would be helpless. In addition, ROVs can engage in much longer
dives than humans. This allows exhaustive search scenarios that would be extremely expensive if human
divers were deployed.
In situations where visibility is better, the Endura 100 SLE has the ability to record 1080p
high-quality video. This permits the ROV to be deployed as an eyes-on monitoring station at a fixed
point or along a patrol route for hours at a time, again far exceeding the capabilities of a human diver.
Underwater surveillance and monitoring missions are thus made much more practical and affordable.
Vehicle hull inspections are an area where the positioning capabilities of Aquabotix ROVs can provide a
unique edge. Most hull inspections do not attempt exhaustive coverage of the entire hull area, because
this is impractical and would take too long – instead, inspections focus on a number of fixed high-value
points of interest. The Endura 100 SLE has advanced positioning software which makes programming
a search of these known points practical and straightforward.
ROVs are capable of carrying out advanced port security missions even without being controlled by
highly-paid professionals. Anyone can learn the basics of “flying” a Endura 100 SLE in just a few hours
of practice, and mastery takes only a few days. In addition, the low weight and easy handling
characteristics of the Endura 100 SLE mean that a single operator can carry the unit to the point of
launch, control it throughout the mission, and retrieve it single-handedly, keeping costs to the bare
Port security workers can control the Endura 100 SLE through a simple and intuitive iPad application,
or using a wireless handheld controller. In addition, the video and sonar data produced by the ROV is
stored on-board – no additional recording devices are required. Date and time stamps on the media
make the use of ROV-acquired data easy to document for law enforcement purposes.
Perhaps the most critical contribution an ROV can make to port security efforts comes from the fact
that, in the worst-case scenario, the ROV is expendable in a way that a human diver never will be. Port
security often involves investigating strange objects, which could easily be explosive devices or even
worse. An investigation of such an underwater device using human divers is risky at best and may have a
tragic outcome. ROVs can fearlessly investigate such threats with the worst-case scenario being merely
the loss of some metal and plastic. This allows port security to aggressively investigate suspicious objects
in a way that simply can’t happen relying on human divers alone.
Port security will never be an easy task, and the problems facing port security forces are likely to grow along with the volume of business done at the port. Every new problem inspires the creation of new tools, however. ROVs like the Aquabotix Endura 100 SLE can expand the ability of port security forces to keep their facilities and visitors safe, at a reasonable cost.