Aquabotix CEO: Live Remote Control Technology for UUVs A Reality for Multiple Missions
By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor
ARLINGTON, Va. — The Live Remote Control (LRC) introduced this month by Aquabotix Ltd. now is operational and available for a variety of applications in the maritime world, the company’s chief executive (CEO) said.
Durval Tavares told Seapower that the LRC technology allows control and monitoring of Aquabotix’s underwater vehicles and cameras by using any web browser-enabled device remotely from anywhere in the world.
The web-based LRC technology facilitates the use of UUVs (unmanned underwater vehicles) for such areas as security, defense, environmental, aquaculture, and oil and gas infrastructure inspection. It enables a single site to control and monitor UUVs at multiple sites throughout the world, using the Internet as the means of control and reducing the need for on-site control, including infrastructure and manpower.
Currently, LRC can be used to “operate Aquabotix’s Endura ROV (remotely operated vehicle), Hybrid AUV/ROV (autonomous/remotely operated vehicle) and AquaLens Connect (networked underwater camera system) during underwater activities from any location globally, using browser-based devices such as computers, phones and iPads, over the Internet, without the operator being physically present on-site,” according to a Nov. 2 release from Aquabotix.
“We’re using the latest and greatest web technology,” Tavares said. “With an ROV, you can interact with it in real time. If you are connected with our Hybrid AUV/ROV platform, you can have direct control or you can program a mission to go into an autonomous mode.”
The control of UUVs can include programming them for autonomous missions as well as direct control. A direct tether or an acoustic transducer can be used to maintain contact with and control of the UUV. The data collected by their sensors can be rapidly disseminated through the LRC technology and the Internet to multiple interested parties. A user does not have to stage a subject matter expert on site with the UUV, but can have an expert at a central location to assess data from multiple sites.
Connection can be made through a 4G hotspot through a topside box to the Internet, Tavares said.
“The same technology that we’re using to do it locally now becomes the same technology that we can do it remotely,” he said.
For cyber security, “the system has authentication and authorization built into it. If you do not have an account on the system, you can’t even get in,” he said, noting that the system has different user levels: a base level for view only; a level for view and control; a higher level for administrative privileges; and a level to perform maintenance.
By December, all of the UUVs being built by Aquabotix will be enabled for the LRC system, Tavares said.