The SRV-8 ROV
In International Aquafeed we have covered a variety of remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) for the aquaculture industry, and it always amazes me to witness how quickly such technology evolves within the industry.
One of the latest examples of a ground-breaking underwater vehicle is California-based RJE Oceanbotics™ SRV-8. This ROV is ideal for use in the aquaculture industry for net and mooring inspections as well as mort collections, with an exciting host of advanced features to boot.
When asked what they believed the ROV market was missing, Oceanbotics™ explained their goal with the SRV-8: to create an ROV that operates with precision and dynamic control, is as easy to fly as a drone, is the most maneuverable, and intuitive to allow any operator to perform a multitude of tasks in almost any underwater environment.
Oceanbotics™ successfully achieved this goal by developing RJE’s exclusive Dynamic Vector Control (DVC), advanced software smarts that command the 8 vectored thrusters and enables 6 Degrees of Freedom in movement. It is piloted using a standard Xbox controller, making the control of the SRV-8 immediately familiar to many operators. The vehicle is battery operated which removes the need for external power sources. And with the addition of external accessories such as sonar and navigation, the SRV-8 becomes an essential underwater tool.
Complex manœuvres are fluid and easily achieved with the SRV-8’s built-in ‘smarts’ system; climb, pitch, ascend, descend, move left, right, forward and backward with precision and dynamic control by a simple thumb gesture. Even for less experienced operators the SRV-8’s precision station-keeping technology and hold functions allow the user to lock the vehicle onto a specific depth, pitch or heading angle. With these advanced functions the SRV-8 nearly flies itself.
When watching demonstrations of the ROV in action, one remarkable feature I discovered was the sheer speed with which the SRV-8 can be placed into the field and set to work. Upon arriving at the launch site, the device can be in the water in under three minutes. The operator can achieve any task from any platform using the topside box with 8.4-inch sunlight readable screen.
Dual-mode Camera and LED lights
Oceanbotics™ SRV-8 is equipped with a dual mode camera to accommodate every requirement; a real-time analog feed for the operator, as well as a high-resolution digital signature for recording and viewing on-site. Any recordings made on the ROV can be played back with ease on a laptop or PC, along with the ability to view sonar and navigation data records (if equipped with optional R-NAV system).
The operator sees all with the SRV-8’s two 1,500 lumen LED lights penetrating the murky depths. The lights illuminate a full 135° in front of the ROV with a third of the brightness of full sunlight, enabling users to complete any underwater operations with clarity. Should further light be needed, additional lights can also be installed onto the easily customizable frame.
305-metre depth rating and a battery life to match
The SRV-8 has a depth rating of up to 305 metres (1000 feet), along with a tether reel which supports lengths of up to an impressive 400m (1,312 ft). Keeping an eye on the small details, Oceanbotics™ also ensured that the SRV-8’s tether is small in diameter (4.5mm to be exact), which reduces the effect of drag on the ROV, ensuring optimal performance, battery longevity and prolonged station-keeping capability.
The specially designed strain relief connection and pull strength rating on the SRV-8 is over 300lbs which means that the tether can easily launch and recover the SRV-8 from high platforms or aid in the recovery of large, heavy objects from the watery depths.
The SRV-8’s lithium batteries provide the device 4-6+ hours of operation on a single charge so operators can work without worry of the ROV ever running out of charge in the middle of a mission, no generator required. Need more battery life? The hot-swappable battery modules allow you to change them out quickly and easily to waste little to no time to continue your mission.
Going A Step Further
As well as also having a variety of optional accessories available for the SRV-8, including various cleaning tools, manipulators and grabbers, Oceanbotics™’ parent company RJE International also offer specialized navigation systems for small ROV’s, such as the SRV-8, to take your aquatic experience one step further.
A subsidiary of RJE International Inc, a leader in underwater navigation and acoustic relocation solutions, Oceanbotics™ was established in 2017 with the goal of creating a more dynamic and professional “drone-like” experience for the marine industry. They service not just the aquaculture industry, but all industries that require marine systems, from subsea engineering, law enforcement, military and government, port security, search and rescue, diving and construction.