As the size and cost of small observation class ROVs and their peripheral equipment has continued to decrease in the last twenty years, there has also been a noticeable increase in their versatility and ease of use. These factors have made these vehicles ideally suited to small businesses, universities, and municipalities. As more and more potential users enter the market, the need for small, easy to store/ transport/operate ROVs has skyrocketed. The Blue Robotics BlueROV2 is the ideal platform for this new age of ROV needs, and SeaView Systems has developed several key upgrades for the BlueROV2 system.
While these small ROV developments have made them more versatile and affordable for general marine use, the nearshore littoral zone has continued to be a difficult area to access for study or survey. SeaView Systems’ SurfROVer littoral crawler provides a unique new method of accessing this important area of the world’s lakes and oceans.
In October 2019, SeaView Systems’ Operations Manager Geoff Cook and Systems Development Manager Ed Celkis demonstrated both SeaView’s custom upgraded BlueROV2 & SurfROVer to the Great Lakes TechSurge conference at the Haggerty Conference Center, Northern Michigan University (Great Lakes Campus) in Traverse City, MI. The focus of the conference was on Great Lakes marine mapping and observation, to develop a way to catalog new and existing lakebed information, and to share the latest tech advances with the Great Lakes region and beyond.
SeaView’s innovative products and upgrades to the BlueROV2 system were on full display at the conference, including our new 4K CinemaCam ultra-HD camera, unique Multi-Battery Manager, and fiber optic upgrade conversion kit. These improvements bring the BlueROV2’s functionality in line with ROVs of much bigger size and, most importantly, cost. Having these high end upgrade products available at a size and price point ideal for smaller companies, universities, and municipalities enables SeaView to continue to expand and reshape the market for subsea survey and support.
Also prominently featured at the conference was SeaView’s remarkable SurfRover littoral crawler. The SurfRover’s capabilities make it uniquely suited for applications in opening up exploration and study of the previously difficult to access nearshore littoral zone. Able to operate with equal proficiency whether on the dry sand or partially and fully submerged, the SurfROVer can handle the most precise and difficult tasks whether in calm waters or being buffeted by surf, from nearshore pipe and cable surveys to towing a sensor array to find items buried in the sand and silt.