REDEFINING ROVs: OCEANBOTICS™ SRV-8OCEAN NEWS & TECHNOLOGY March 2021
Simply put, Oceanbotics™ is the latest division of RJE
International, Inc. However, if you take a closer look, you
will find that Oceanbotics™ represents far more than that.
You will discover an interesting history, uncover exquisite
design, experience intuitive technology, cutting-edge
software, and witness a relentless dedication to the creation of a
positive customer experience. This ceaseless drive to innovate recently
culminated in the launch of the SRV-8, a professional-grade Remotely
Operated Vehicle (ROV) that delivers next-generation maneuverability
But first, a little bit of that history.
A thirst for progress is something that unites the team at RJE
International, Inc / RJE Oceanbotics. You could say that innovation
is written into the team’s collective DNA. This sense of technological
curiosity was passed down from a famed Austrian-born inventor, Ernst
Jechart, who created the modern-day portable atomic clock and
happens to be the father of current company CEO, Robert Jechart.
Ernst founded his own company after his employer, a large German
engineering firm, rejected his new prototype for a miniature portable
atomic clock. Ernst then went on to develop the modern-day atomic
clock in the basement of his small house, in Germany.
The new atomic clock debuted in 1972 and quickly caught the attention
of organizationsin the U.S. So much so, in fact, that the family decided
to relocate to California and set up operations to meet demand from
the American market. This paved the way for some groundbreaking
technologies,including the Global Positioning System (GPS) system that we all defer
to today when using our phones for navigation. Ernst’s invention was
such a critical technological advancement that it is on display at the
Smithsonian Space Museum.
RJE International, Inc. was formed in 1991. From humble beginnings—a
spare bedroom as the first corporate HQ—the company has grown to
become a 30-year leader in acoustic navigation systems, including the
beacons for black boxes on aircraft and underwater mission critical
RJE’s expansion into Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) was a
strategic move based on consistent feedback from clients in the ocean
industries: that most ROVs were anything but user friendly, difficult to
transport, complicated to pilot, equipped with rudimentary software,
and overly expensive.
RJE seized its opportunity to establish a fresh approach and began
work on developing a next-generation ROV—one that addressed the
shifting demands of marine and underwater professionals—which
centered around the design concept of aerial drones.
This was the inspiration for RJE Oceanbotics™, created in June 2017.
The Oceanbotics™ team immediately focused efforts on engineering
the SRV-8 underwater ROV, the most maneuverable, intuitive, portable,
and easy to use professional-grade ROV for the marine professional.
Many operators describe the SRV-8 as a drone-like underwater
experience for the submerged world—it pushes the boundaries of
marine technology and innovation.
The SRV-8 vehicle performs the function of a mobile underwater
sensor suite, a platform that is easily adaptable depending on the
mission at hand. Applications include search & rescue (SAR), inspection
(pilings, bridges, pipelines, ship hulls, platforms, etc.), aquatic farming,
reef monitoring, defense, offshore, commercial diving, among several
others. In most cases, the required end product for the customer is
the video, sonar and data recordings of the mission, in digital format.
RJE’s state-of-the-art software transforms this into a seamless and
Eight dynamically vectored thrusters not only give this ROV its sleek
profile but also provide pilots with unmatched maneuverability and
precision control. The SRV-8 is powered by two lithium-ion batteries
that allow for 6 to 8 hours of operation and its size allows for one-
person portability. The advanced and easy-to-use SubNav™
Software by Oceanbotics™ is fully integrated with BluePrint
Subsea’s Oculus Imaging Sonar and the Seatrac USBL
Navigation System, allowing for truly seamless integration. The
SRV-8 and SubNav™ combine for intuitive control and a stressfree
plug-and-play experience. How many other professionalgrade
ROVs can claim that? The SRV-8 is in a category of its
own and it really is as good as it looks.
When it comes to operating the Oceanbotics™ SRV-8, the goal
has always been to provide customers with an “Apple-like”
underwater experience. Customers want to be able to take an
ROV off the shelf, connect it up, drop it in the water and go. The
rugged and durable SRV-8 ROV allows the user to do just that,
while focusing entirely on the mission without worrying about
the technicalities of the product.
ROV pilots want easy control and have a choice of either an
Xbox controller or the “Flight Stick” set-up, which allows single
handed and precise control of the vehicle—truly an instinctive
way to fly.
The SRV-8 includes semi-autonomous flying capabilities via auto
heading, auto depth and auto pitch modes easily accessible via
the controller. Pilots have the choice to lock the SRV-8 in a
particular heading/direction so that it will not turn. The SRV-8
can also be locked at desired depths—simply press the button
and let the ROV hover in place. If you need to lock the SRV-8 in
a particular angle to scan the seafloor or the bottom of a boat,
then you can do that too. The pitch hold locks the SRV-8 in a
desired angle with the ability to incrementally adjust the angle
of view. Each hold is able to engage at the same time or can be
The SRV-8’s advanced features translate into superior handling
and faster completion of underwater tasks—this in turn saves
customers valuable time and real money.
The RJE Oceanbotics™ team is currently working on a number
of other innovative solutions for underwater professionals
and pledges to push the boundaries of user-friendly and
ergonomic underwater robotics technology. The SRV-8 is just