Updated Product: 2″ Watertight Enclosure Series

Hi friends! We are excited to introduce the newly redesigned 2″ Locking Watertight Enclosure Series! There are lots of little changes that will make this generation of watertight housing components more robust and secure – let us share some background and explain the key features! 🔑🔒

Background

The 4″ Watertight Enclosure Series was one of the first enabling products we launched back in 2014 – at the time, we were just looking to provide an easy, affordable solution to keeping things dry. Along with the 3″ Enclosure, they became one of the building blocks to the BlueROV2. Their configurability made them fit for a host of applications – we’ve seen them in countless robotics competition vehicles, as part of a diver helmet, as sensing devices on much larger vehicles, and as the main component of our dearly beloved, Disco Pancake. Users of the enclosures were pushing them to the limits, and it was time that we gave some TLC to one of our most ubiquitous products. We’re starting that off today with the WTE2 update!

Disco Pancake starring in the Indicator Light promo video.

Disco Pancake starring in the Indicator Light promo video.

Key Features

Locking Cord

The most notable difference from version to version is the locking cord. The locking cord is made of plastic and can be inserted into a machined chamber between the tube and the flange, retaining the flange to the tube so that they cannot be separated.

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Introducing the Ping360 Scanning Sonar and Updated M200 Motor

Hello everyone! Today we have two new products to announce: the Ping360 Scanning Imaging Sonar and the updated M200 Motor! We’ve put together a launch video for the Ping360 and you can read about both products below.

The Ping360 Scanning Imaging Sonar

The Ping360 sonar is a mechanical scanning sonar. It’s designed primarily to be used on the BlueROV2 and other underwater ROVs for navigation in low-visibility water conditions, but it’s also suited for applications such as inspection, obstacle avoidance, target location and tracking, autonomous systems development, and more!

When mounted on an ROV, the Ping360 gives you a top-down view of the ROV’s surroundings. You can see echoes from objects like ropes, walls, dock pilings, rocks, shipwrecks, boats, and any other structures or objects that reflect sound waves. With that, you have reference points to navigate from, regardless of water visibility, and you can locate important features in the water quickly.

The Ping360 image overlaid on a top-down shot to illustrate how the sonar aids in navigation in low visibility.

The Ping360 image overlaid on a top-down shot to illustrate how the sonar aids in navigation in low visibility.

Like our Ping Echosounder, the Ping360 interface with the open-source Ping Viewer application to provide a realtime view of sonar data. The sonar also has an open communication interface so that you can grab the data directly for other applications.

The Ping360 is available today for $1,975 USD, less than half the price of any other scanning sonar on the market! You can read more about it on the product page here.

Updated M200 Motor

We have an exciting update to one of our earliest products, the M200 Motor.

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Recap: RoboSub 2019

Hello vampires, werewolves, and otherkin! A few weeks ago, the BR coven traveled down to San Diego for the 22nd Annual RoboSub Competition! The missions were fierce and the life force was strong, with a record 54 teams participating in this year’s court!

TRANSDEC-vania

TRANSDEC-vania

What is RoboSub, you ask?

RoboSub is an exciting underwater robotics competition in which teams of high school and college students from around the world design and build an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV). These vehicles are designed to autonomously navigate through a series of tasks that mimic ongoing research in Autonomous Underwater Systems. This event also serves to develop relationships between young engineers and the organizations developing and using unmanned and autonomous technologies. This year, 600 students on 54 teams from 13 countries had the task of Slaying the Vampire! (more…)

Recap: MATE International ROV Competition 2019

Friends, hello! A couple of weeks ago we attended (for the 4th year in a row!) the MATE International ROV Competition and we are excited as ever for the future of marine robotics. Before we dive into a recap, let’s take a look at some throwbacks from previous competitions!

But First, What is MATE?

The MATE International ROV (remotely operated vehicle or underwater robot) competition challenges students to learn and creatively apply STEM skills to solve real-world problems and strengthen their critical thinking, collaboration, entrepreneurship, and innovation. Throughout the school year, students spend lotsss of time designing, prototyping, engineering, and testing their ROVs, all in preparation for the regional events that take place across the country and around the world which then feed into the international championship.

A brief history of BR and MATE

In 2016 the event was held at the NASA Johnson Space Center’s Neutral Buoyancy Lab in Houston, Texas – a pretty epic location for our first time! The 2016 competition highlighted how technologies developed for use in the harsh ocean environment can also be used in outer space – and vice versa.

Rusty with Marty Klein, the father of side scan sonar 😝 (left) and a competition vehicle (right).

Rusty with Marty Klein, the father of side scan sonar 😝 (left) and a competition vehicle (right).

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New Products! (sort of)

Our customers are are some of the most innovative creatures out there – they are studying marine life, exploring shipwrecks, surveying coral reefs, and advancing human knowledge of the ocean. The products in this update will be familiar but they are new to our store – they’ve been added to help make our customers lives a little easier, so we may continue to push the boundaries of ocean exploration together!

Updated Water Linked Underwater GPS / BlueROV2 Integration Kit R2

This kit provides a few additional cables for the Water Linked Underwater GPS system to allow it to seamlessly integrate with the BlueROV2 system – the R2 version is better integrated with FXTI and uses Binder 770 connectors.

Battery Cell Checker

The Battery Cell Checker plugs into the battery balance plug and tells you cell voltages, overall pack voltage, and overall state-of-charge. It’s a great field tool to check your batteries and make sure they are ready for each dive! We keep one with us during every dive.

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New Products: Ping + Other Components

Hi friends, happy Tuesday! We are (finally) ready to release a product that many of you have been patiently awaiting… introducing the Ping Sonar Altimeter and Echosounder (plus other fun things)!

Check out the new product video below!

Ping Sonar Altimeter and Echosounder

The Ping sonar is a multipurpose single-beam echosounder. It can be used as an altimeter for ROV sand AUVs, for bathymetry work aboard a USV, as an obstacle avoidance sonar, and more. The Ping combines a compact form factor and 300 meter depth rating with an open source user interface and development libraries to create a powerful new tool for marine robotics!

The Ping has anodized aluminum case with the sonar transducer on one side. The other side has tapped mounting holes and the Ping comes with a mounting bracket that makes it easy to install on the BlueROV2 and in other applications. It comes with a one meter cable with a pre-installed cable penetrator and is rated to an operating depth of 300m.

The Ping has a bottom-finding algorithm that locks onto the strongest response and returns the distance and measurement confidence. The Ping works great as an altimeter on the BlueROV2 but can be used in all sorts of applications from tidal monitoring to obstacle avoidance to autonomous terrain following.

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Updated Products: Ballast Weight and Desiccant

Happy 2019, everyone! New year, lotssss of new products – we can’t weight to share what’s in store 😉 We’re starting off the year with a couple of updated ROV components: Stainless Steel Ballast Weight and Moisture Indicating Silica Gel Desiccant Bags.

Stainless Steel Ballast Weight

The new Stainless Steel Ballast Weight is a drop in replacement for original lead weight. Stainless steel is less toxic to the environment and to humans!

Moisture Indicating Silica Gel Desiccant Bags

We’ve repackaged the silica gel so they come in prepackaged in 6 individual bags. Any humidity inside your Watertight Enclosure will cause condensation to collect when placed in the water, and this desiccant will eliminate humidity inside the enclosure so that you can clearly see out of it.

All new ROV orders will come with both of these upgrades.

That’s all for today!

New Products: 18-hole 4″ Series End Cap and BlueROV2 Machined Buoyancy Foam

Hello friends! Today we’ve got some new products to release – an 18-hole 4″ Series End Cap and BlueROV2 Machined Buoyancy Foam!

18-hole 4″ Series End Cap

Unlike most of our other end caps, which have 10 mm through-holes for each penetrator, this one has a mixture of threaded and through-holes to allow more penetrations to be packed in. The outer eleven holes are threaded with standard M10 threads. The inner seven holes are through-holes just like our other end caps. All of the holes are compatible with all of our M10 penetrators.

This end cap is compatible with the 4″ Series Watertight Enclosure and can be used on the BlueROV2 for more expandability!

BlueROV2 Machined Buoyancy Foam

Because more end cap holes means more room for all the things, and thus more weight, we have the new BlueROV2 Machined Buoyancy Foam today as well! This foam is machined specifically to add an additional 500 grams of total buoyancy on the BlueROV2. The shape fits perfectly into the BlueROV2 fairing and adds more stability and payload capacity! This is an add-on only and the BlueROV2 still comes with the standard rectangular blocks of foam.

That’s all for today!

Updated Product: Lumen Subsea Light

Hi friends! Today we are dazzled to announce an update of the Lumen Subsea Light. The improvements are pretty lit if we say so ourselves! Read more below!

Side note: If you’re interested in having some input on our future products and developments, please make sure to take our 3rd Annual Product Interest Survey.

Check out the new Lumen!

Body and Lens

The most obvious update to the Lumen is the body and lens. The new design features aluminum screws to prevent galvanic corrosion, a thicker cable jacket less susceptible to nicks or holes, and a built in mount for convenient and secure attachment. The body is a little bit larger in diameter as well.

Wider Brightness Range and Better Low-Light Output

The first revision of the Lumen was configured to emit light ranging from about half brightness to full brightness. We’ve learned a lot since the release of the original Lumen, especially the fact that more light does not necessarily imply better lighting. The new lights have an exponential brightness curve and are capable of reaching a much lower brightness level to provide a wider dynamic range.

The image below shows a comparison between the old and new brightness ranges in illuminating a mooring at 60m water depth on a cloudy day.

More Robust Sealing and 950m Depth Rating

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BlueROV2 Named #1 Educational ROV!

Marine robotics is truly an interdisciplinary subject – it lies at the intersection of biology, physics, engineering, and chemistry. Educators are always looking for innovative ways to illustrate concepts to their students, and for the topic of marine robotics, a remotely operated vehicle is the perfect tool for the job. We are honored to share that the BlueROV2 was named the best educational ROV by International Ocean Systems!


Captain Marc Deglinnocenti ranked the top ROVs based on five factors: ease of use, cost, ease of maintenance, expandability, and depth rating. The BlueROV2 rated high across the board. Read the full article here!