Aquabotix, the Australia and US based manufacturer of high-end underwater drones and cameras, has developed its latest line of hybrid underwater drone christened Integra AUV/ROV. The hybrid AUV/ROV concept stands for Autonomous Underwater Vehicle/Remotely Operated Vehicle, meaning the drone can function either on an autonomous basis or can be remote controlled.
The Integra AUV/ROV
The Integra AUV/ROV forms the second generation of hybrid underwater drones developed by Aquabotix, expanding on the capabilities of the previous generation drones. The principal upgrade comes in the form of its remote control functionality that allows the user to control the drone through a web-enabled device from anywhere in the world. Aquabotix has recently introduced this capability across its full range of products.
The hybrid drone can be piloted by a single person or deployed to undertake autonomous tasks. In the AUV mode, the drone can operate autonomously using pre-programmed parameters. To perform more specific tasks, the drone is tethered to the base station (using a cable) and operated by remote control. Added flexibilities include full portability and battery-powered systems.
All controls are managed through a browser-based (Windows) application, making the Integra an easy-to-use device with multiple functional capabilities and adequate flexibility.
AUV/ROV Mode – The AUV mode can be used to perform general underwater searches, including surveying and mapping. The ROV mode is typically used for specific and detailed analysis.
Live Remote Control – This allows the Integra to be remote controlled using a web browser from any location in the world. The same feature also allows users to access, store, share and analyse collected data.
Configurable sensor suite – The Integra has multiple sensors available that can be configured as per the requirements of a specific mission. Sensor capabilities available on board the Integra include:
- Multibeam sonar – to map the seabed
- Side scan sonar – to create an image of large areas of the sea floor
- Scanning sonar – to map the underwater environment regardless of the water visibility
- USBL (Ultra-Short Base Line) – acoustic technology to measure underwater acoustic positioning
- INS (Inertial Navigation System) – to calculate position, orientation and velocity of a moving object via dead reckoning
- DVL (Doppler Velocity Log) – to measure velocities in water
- Environmental sensors – to measure various environmental parameters such as temperature, humidity, oxygen and radiation among others
The Integra, powered by 5 high-torque motors, is capable of carrying up to 5 pounds of payload for a maximum of 8 hours under a depth of 100m/300m of water, depending on the model. A high-definition 1080p pan and tilt camera enables a wide range of vision, aided by 4400 Lumens of LED lighting equipping the drone to function equally well at nighttime. The Integra is fitted with multiple sensors to measure depth, current, temperature, positioning and orientation. It has both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities to ensure efficient transfer of data.
The hybrid features on the Integra allows it to be used for exploration purposes as well as perform specific missions. The integrated system improves overall operational efficiency by removing the need to deploy separate AUVs and ROVs, ensuring cost effective utlisation of resources.
With a variety of sensors and capabilities, the Integra has been designed to be used across a wide range of sectors, from law enforcement and defense to environmental research and assessment.