Page 40: of Marine Technology Magazine (November 2016)

Subsea Engineering & Construction

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Tech File

Blue Robotics Blue Robotics


By Paul Unterweiser

The popularity and availability of aerial quad-copter drones At ? rst glance, the BlueROV2 is a vectored six thruster ROV, have grown exponentially over the past few years. But, in capable of depths of 100 meters in a kit form. But because ev- large part because of the complexities that water penetration ery bit of the design, from the housings to thrusters to the ? rm- poses for electronics, underwater remotely operated vehicles ware that controls it, is open to the public, the future and up- (ROVs) have not experienced that same level of popularity. grade-ability of the design is virtually unlimited. This not only

The technology required to fabricate the components for an means that people with technical skills will be able to adapt

ROV to explore beyond a few meters depth has been beyond the BlueROV2 to perform whatever new tasks they might be the capabilities of all but a handful of companies who have clever enough to design, but it also means that even the aver- mastered the skills. In many cases, those skills have been age user is free to source parts and enhancements (such as kept proprietary and the products have demanded high prices. sonars) from whomever they want. This is an entirely new and

Not long ago you needed well over $10,000 to consider buy- potentially powerful approach to ROV design and marketing.

ing even the smallest observation ROV. As mini ROVs have grown in capabilities, so have the prices to the point where a What comes with the kit fully-capable mini ROV now costs in excess of $40,000. All The kit includes all the thrusters, electronics, housings, that may soon change thanks to companies like Blue Robotics frame, ? otation, nuts and bolts that you will need to fully and its newly released BlueROV2. assemble a complete ROV. It also includes a tether (of your *All images courtesy of Paul Unterweiser

November/December 2016

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