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can somebody help me out in identifying good small/mini ROv manufacturer for starting underwater observation and work ?
Of course, there is Seabotix (that is expensive !), Videoray (I'm not sure it is strong enough to manage strong sea currents...), then I've seen the AC-ROV100 (from and that one (, that seems relatively affordable (does anyone has got an opinion on it ?)

other manufacturers ?

My requirements are :
should manage sea currents
has a manipulator
the possibility to add a sonar later on

thanks !

Seaeye - the leader of the pack.
too big !!!
Try look info about Seamor 300f. Wink
What do you mean by "sea current"? Most micro ROV's aren't intended for anything more than a knot or two of current. Lots of options out there, prices will vary depending on where you're located, model, etc. US made ROV's tend to be the lowest cost option in the US but are very expensive overseas, especially in Europe. We've looked at SeaBotix, VideoRay, Outland, GNOM, Rov Builder, AC-ROV, JW Fisher, Shark, and others. They all have their benefits and failings. Depends what you want to do and how much you have to spend. As for sonar capability, just about anything can carry a small sonar, Tritech and Imagenex sell really tiny but pretty effective scanning sonars. You need to provide more info so we can get a better idea what you'll need. And yes, I'll agree that the SeaEye Falcon is definitely the top of the class. A real workhorse that can be adapted to a wide variety of jobs. There was a thread on this topic a while back, so a bit of searching should find it.
You have no doubt seen this discussion.

As far as the VideoRay goes, in open oceans and currents, the most current model (Pro4) has more than 21lbs of thrust. I've used it offshore from West Africa to the Pacific in more than 3knots of current with a BlueView sonar on it. In fact at a recent independent test, the Pro4 had more bollard pull than any of the other ROV's.

What I would recomend is setting up a demonstration of each system you are considering in what you would consider your normal working enviornment. There are folks out there that will tell you the system can do 'xyz' and when you go to use it, you find out it can't even do 'abc'.

Submerged Recovery & Inspection Services
Go For a Mini Rover Mk II.
18 inches wide , 10 inches high and 32 inches length.
I used quite a few years ago in the offshore environment for quick work. They are relatively cheap you can easily fix them and I dare say the company that manufactures them have improved their speed since 28 years ago
Unfortunately as far as coping with currents.You will have a hard time getting any small ROV to cope with the currents. You just have to make sure you have the correct type umbilical for different job uses.
To add extra length for one particular contract down a tunnel ( 700 M ) I used a Divers camera cable.
It boils down to this though.......................................... Power over weight.
For working in the likes of the Offshore Industry , you need reliable , robust and powerful. You will not get this at the momento with a small ROV. In a nut shell you will set yourself up for heartache if you did attempt Small ROV's in the Offshore environment.Many people before you have tried the concept and I am thinking many more will in the future..... It will fail sadlly.
Only last year I went onto a Jack-up where the Rig Super had thrown a one man outfit off because he could not reach the seabed (47 M).It was only a quick inspection but the toy had problems with the current.
Hope this piece of advice helps Very Happy
Put ya brain in gear before ye open thy gob !

That independent test sounds interesting. Which company or organization performed the independent tests? What other ROVs did the VideoRay go up against? Were any other tests performed?

I agree that live demos are the best way to go as well. Seeing is believing!

Hmmm .Normal working invironment Smile
Hardly any viz ,plenty of depth and a strong current........... Shouldn't be too difficult to do other than a swimming pool and a quayside Very Happy
Put ya brain in gear before ye open thy gob !
dear all,
thanks for your messages.
Ok, I've read the previous post about the mini rov, many informations, indeed...

I think for most of people, choosing the right small ROV is not like choosing a mobile phone. It is a matter of thousands dollars and more.
So, I would say that setting up a maximum price would be a first step...
In my case, I couldn't spend more than about 15 000 USD. And in any ways, I don't have the 100% cash for buying a ROV, I will need some bank or family loans...
As for my uses :
I would like to start a small business in underwater observation and inspection, even if my first interest is underwater archaeology (but making business with archaeology is not easy...)
SO, I am looking ways of starting some work, with a ROV polyvalent enough to get some revenues... If this works, then , I would buy better equipment, for more requiring activities...

Here, in France , I have no idea about the daily fees I may ask for diverse ROV activities.

I am leaving 2 hours from ocean, and many harbours are potential places of small businesses... so, some sea currents, even if I assume good sea conditions are needed for easiest operations...
the main functions O would require are
- magnetometer
- sonar
- grabber
(and a positionning system ?)
I wonder about that one , for instance...

is that clearer ? Confused
You're not going to get all those features for under $15K, in fact, you might not be able to get them for under $100K. As LostBoy said, expect to operate in poor visibility and current, which means you'll need some powerful thrusters and a sonar at a minimum. Mini ROVs with those specs very rarely come on the used market so you're probably looking at $50K - 75K for a new system.

As for the RoboTecnic ROV, I've not seen one in the flesh from the specs it weighs 8 kg in air and each thruster only delivers 1 kg thrust. Not a particularly powerful system IMO.

If you're looking for a hobbyist ROV, keep your eyes pealed for a used GNOM or Ac-ROV. I've seen a bunch of Ac-Rov's on the used market.

Last edited by NCUWI on 16:06 Tue 29 Nov 11; edited 1 time in total
Too true NCUWI ,
Then again if you see the same type of ROV on the Selling market that to my mind indicates in my brain that maybe there is a problem with them Confused
If a person is wiling to part with alot of hard earned cash to buy a ROV ,the invested interest would mean research and thought had gone into it in the first place,for example reliability and returns.This means that the asset would not be sold on as it is a reliable source of cash........... The longer you have it the more the asset pays for itself and there for more profit. There would have to be a bloody good reason to sell it don't you think ?
Or.................. The ROV was a load of poo and did not do what it says on the tin Very Happy
Check to see if Parts for the vehicle are cheap and in abundance ( That certain parts have not been phased out for better updated versions which sadly you cannot use in the one being sold. That the Vehicle is not too outdated or that the company manufacturing them has not gone bust.
Hope this helps Rolling Eyes
Put ya brain in gear before ye open thy gob !
Gubundo, take a look at Rovbuilder,

they have production in three countries
pretty simple and reliable construction - micro controller based
price starts from 9000 USD
they have "light" version for divers - RB50 with 48 volts and 3000USD only
as i saw month ago they start Midi ROV variant with HD and 500meters depth

Leonid Gav
Skype: leo_gav

Have a look at this company. We recently bought one of the Guardians for a project, it performed well. No too expensive. They're in France too.

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