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General: Innovative low cost ROV for small companies

Posted on 31.01.2014 - 16:14 UTC in GENERAL NEWS by DT_Sam

Deep Trekker Micro ROVA relative newcomer to the industry, the DTG2 is its first commercial offering and at present boasts a few hundred units in the field. Deep Trekker's stated mission is to "give anyone on earth the opportunity to explore the depths of our vast oceans, seas, lakes, or rivers with an ROV". A starting price of just under $3,000 should put it well within reach of most small companies.


Innovative low cost ROV for small companies

31 Jan 2014
The DTG2 lends itself to any situation where rapid and easy deployment is critical, such as SAR operations

The DTG2 lends itself to any situation where rapid and easy deployment is critical, such as SAR operations

Ontario, Canada based Deep Trekker Inc has been in the business of ROV design and production since 2010.

A relative newcomer to the industry, the DTG2 is its first commercial offering and at present boasts a few hundred units in the field. Deep Trekker's stated mission is to "give anyone on earth the opportunity to explore the depths of our vast oceans, seas, lakes, or rivers with an ROV". A starting price of just under $3,000 should put it well within reach of most small companies.

The DTG2's patented design is unique in a number of ways, but most notably, the power source, for both ROV and controller, is provided by self contained batteries, and it is claimed to be the only ROV on the market to use only two thrusters.

How the DTG2 can manoeuvre with only two thrusters is clever and the key to what is overall a very successful design featuring ‘three interconnected pendulums’. The first pendulum is the DTG2's ‘flying saucer’ shaped exterior shell, composed of two cast aluminum halves, each integrating a magnetically coupled thruster and joined down the center by a cylindrically shaped transparent window. The second pendulum is inside the shell and holds the batteries (ballast) and logic boards. The third pendulum is the camera tilt frame. The only pendulum which remains stationary while the ROV is flown is the battery/ballast pendulum. The other two (exterior shell/thrusters and camera frame) are rotated by use of the hand controller. Since this design lacks a vertically oriented thruster, it rotates the vertical angle of the two main thrusters to propel the ROV up and down.

From a design perspective, this novel approach offers a number of significant advantages. It reduces the number of thrusters to two, yielding a considerable savings in power consumption over other designs, as well as reducing the manufacturing and maintenance costs. The cylindrically shaped window allows greater camera tilt angles (up to 270°) over other more conventional ROV designs. As a result of the power savings, the system can be powered by on-board batteries and thus is fully self contained, not requiring any external power source.

But it also has some limitations which this review investigated, most notably, being battery operated it will have a finite on station duration and having only two thrusters will limit it's ability to maneuver in certain directions.

Buoyancy control with the DTG2 is also unique. It uses the air volume inside the shell for buoyancy and operator adjustable stainless steel strips (under the grab handles and bottom skid) to control ballast.

Because of the DTG2's fully self contained power system, portability and simple controls, it lends itself to any situation where rapid and easy deployment are critical, such as SAR, police and military applications. Equally appealing is the DTG2's low cost, which makes it ideal for small businesses whose applications include diver support, ships’ hull and shoreside facility inspections, fresh water tank inspections and others.

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