The Immersive Innovation of VideoRay Underwater ROVs
More than seventy percent of the planet's surface is covered by water. Our oceans dictate the weather, regulate our temperature, and ultimately support all living organisms, while lakes and rivers provide invaluable economic and ecological resources. But as crucial as they are to all of our lives, over eighty percent of our planet's waterways remain unexplored. This largely hidden underwater world is the domain of VideoRay ROVs (Remotely Operated Vehicles). Every day, hundreds of these incredible submersibles are put to work in the vast subsurface landscape to assist with search and rescue, ensure the safety of critical infrastructure and even protect us from terrorism, all while keeping human divers out of harm's way.
Since 1999, VideoRay has worked with technology and mission partners throughout the world to develop and provide their small, highly-maneuverable ROVs for a wide range of applications. Their fleet of distinctive yellow vehicles are controlled from above water by a topside operator control console. For that control unit, which also delivers the images captured from the VideoRay's onboard cameras, a traditional computer simply wouldn't fit or be able to provide the reliable performance VideoRay's complex equipment demands.
Mini-PCs For Mini Underwater ROVs
In building the control system for VideoRay's latest ROVs, the Mission Specialist Pro 5 and Defender, they required a highly-capable, ultra-reliable small form factor industrial computer. Measuring just 5.6" x 2.4" x 4.2" inches, OnLogic's ML100 was, quite literally, a perfect fit. Fully integrated into the topside operator control console, the ML100 provides the human machine interface (HMI) for the ROVs, enabling direct control of, and providing telemetry for, the submersible while collecting data from a wide range of onboard sensors. With VideoRay systems being deployed in an ever-expanding range of locations and environments, the fully solid state ML100 is able to stand up to the rigors of travel as well as the extreme temperatures and humidity the control consoles are frequently exposed to once on-site.
Andy Goldstein is the Head of Engineering and Operations at VideoRay. Due to extreme operating environment temperatures and vibration in transit, he and his team had been experiencing up to a 25% failure rate using a previous computing solution. They sought out a new system with the performance, size, weight and industrial dependability needed for their ever-growing deployment of ROVs. In OnLogic they also found a team that could offer the turnaround time and support required for their latest developments.
“We have seen a significant improvement in reliability over a previously used computer system and enjoyed a very solid supply chain from OnLogic. We've also appreciated the quick response to any technical issues or support needs.”- Andy Goldstein, Head of Engineering and Operations at VideoRay
What's Next for VideoRay?
VideoRay continues to roll out new Mission Specialist technology to the Defense, Energy, Infrastructure and Construction, First Responder, Aquaculture, and Science & Research markets. They're currently working with the U.S. Navy to develop the next generation underwater ROV for explosive ordnance disposal applications. Additional renewable offshore applications, including ocean wind farms, are exploding across Europe and the United States and VideoRay systems are critical to the construction and maintenance of these installations. VideoRay is a leading technology innovator in the field of subsea robotics and plans to continue using OnLogic hardware to help drive their next generation ROV solutions.