When it comes to any large purchase, it’s important to weigh out all the variables before deciding which option fits your needs the best. Purchasing an ROV is no exception. Understanding each model’s subtle differences and how they benefit specific projects can be a complicated process, but it doesn’t have to be. The aim of this guide is to help you confidently identify the features/benefits of each Deep Trekker ROV model/package and interpret which option is right for you.
ROVs can cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars to millions of dollars. It can be confusing to determine what is right for you. Spending more typically means adding capabilities, but does not mean it is necessarily a better fit for the job. How much you should spend on an ROV is heavily dependent on the expected typical usage and core task functions. You can begin by evaluating the most integral functions for your project and choosing the most economical package to fit those requirements.
To create an ROV suited for industrial settings, different builds can accommodate addons like USBL, DVL, environmental, and sonar sensors. These features provide enhanced automation, tracking, vision, and depth features, but can come with a high cost ceiling and aren’t always required for the project at hand. Navigation packages utilizing DVL and USBL can cost $20,000 to $100,000 or more, depending on range and precision, while implementing sonars can range from $6,000 to $300,000. Simple inspections in still water may not need these high end features, and would better benefit from lower cost basic packages, designed for getting underwater visuals quickly and easily.
There are different categories of Remotely Operated Vehicles. Mini and micro class ROVs are swimming cameras that are great options for fast and effective eyes underwater. These can range from a few thousand dollars to $40,000 depending on the sophistication of the model and addons. Inspection and Observation Class ROVs differentiate by equipping more advanced sensors, samplers, and tools, to expand into industrial applications. Their prices range between $15,000 and $250,000. Light Work Class and Work Class ROVs are large, crane deployed ROVs, typically with great depth capabilities (thousands of meters), powerful manipulator arms capable of construction, welding, and more. These ROVs are best suited for heavy industrial use, and range from $250,000 to millions of dollars, and often require specialized operation training, heavy support equipment and vessels.
There's no need to choose between cost and quality. We can help you narrow the budget range by talking to our ROV team
ROVs are an effective method to add or enhance streams of business for a dive company, as some of their customers may prefer the ensured safety of ROV inspection. Having an ROV on hand provides more diverse service options to offer and market.
Many projects for commercial dive teams require pre-inspections, bid surveys to evaluate the budget for the project, or can benefit from having another pair of eyes for dive monitoring. A simple mini ROV like the DTG3 can be a useful asset in this case.
ROVs can also be used to identify unexploded ordnance and mines underwater. Using a ROV that has an imaging sonar is key, similar to SAR. These missions can cover long distances, so utilizing USBL for position tracking and autonomous capability is extremely helpful. The PIVOT NAV and REVOLUTION NAV with M750 imaging sonars are most popular in these cases, due to the long distance sonar capabilities and in-depth navigation features.
Deep Trekker offers a comprehensive lineup of ROVs to suit all of the above industry tasks on nearly any budget. With predesigned packages plus customizable addons, it’s easy to build the perfect ROV to fit your specific needs.
Deep Trekker’s ROV lineup includes the DTG3, PHOTON, PIVOT, and REVOLUTION. The DTG3 is a mini observation-class underwater ROV built to deploy rapidly and quickly conduct visual inspections in underwater environments. Its lightweight design provides exceptional portability, but limits its power and feature capabilities, such as DVL sensor upgrades or an integrated tool platform. It operates using a three thruster design, meaning the operator will have to manipulate the pitch or yaw for vertical and lateral movements. The DTG3 is an excellent affordable option for simple underwater inspections.
The PIVOT and REVOLUTION are true observation class ROVs. Engineered with carbon fiber and stainless steel, the REVOLUTION delivers dramatic power, enhanced capabilities and inspiring performance in harsh conditions. The PIVOT offers a similar design to the REVOLUTION, but its scaled down size provides improved portability and maneuverability in tight spaces. Both models utilize six vectored thrusters to complete vertical and lateral movements, and come integrated with rotating tool platforms capable of carrying out a variety of tasks.
The PHOTON ROV is a small-sized micro-ROV with 6-thruster stability of the larger platforms. The PHOTON is not the ideal platform for a large number of add-ons, and limits some of the features such as the ability to rotate the sonar or grabber like you can on the PIVOT or REVOLUTION, but still provides users with a capable experience in a smaller package and lower price.
The REVOLUTION ROV is the most powerful, intelligent, and stable ROV in the Deep Trekker lineup. Its six vectored thrusters provide unmatched control in harsh underwater conditions, and when combined with its 305m depth rating, make it ideal for complex deep ocean missions.
The integrated camera + grabber arm is capable of rotating up to 260 degrees. This wide range of view means seamless transitions of focus points. The pilot can look up during a hull inspection , rotate to scan a wall, pan along the seafloor, or get the best angle to manipulate an object, all without changing the ROV’s position.
A favorite feature of many operators is the rotating capability when adding an imaging sonar. With this ROV add-on, you can adjust the angle to sweep targets and get precise viewing angles. Because of its stable design and vertical thrusters which enable lateral movements, the REVOLUTION provides excellent performance with USBL and Sonar.
You can also rely on up to six hours of battery operating time from a full charge. Thanks to the quick-change battery system, it's also extremely easy to perform field battery changes in well under a minute.
The perfect balance between size and power. The PIVOT maintains an impressive six thruster design powered by swappable lithium ion batteries, and 305m depth rating just like the REVOLUTION. Unlike the REVOLUTION, the PIVOT’s overall body size is 13.4% smaller, and cuts its weight down to 37lbs, compared to the REVOLUTION’s 57lbs.
The camera and tool platform on the PIVOT operate on separate rotating fields. With the camera being capable of rotating up to 220 degrees for a wide viewing range to complete a multitude of tasks. The 97 degree rotating tool platform gives pilots the advantage of flexible imaging options and convenient tool manipulation from a stable position. Due to its similarities in control and stability to the REVOLUTION, the PIVOT also provides excellent performance with USBLs, DVLs and Imaging Sonars.
The most common add-ons for the PIVOT and REVOLUTION are:
The DTG3 is the ultimate in ROV portability. For a cost effective alternative to the PIVOT or REVOLUTION, the DTG3 provides the same exceptional Full HD (4K upgradable) camera in a durable yet lightweight 18lbs vehicle. Coming expedition ready right out of the box, you can deploy in under 30 seconds. With operating battery life of up to eight hours, you can maintain operation for the whole work day.
The DTG3 comes equipped with three thrusters and a patented pitch system that allows for flexible operations and rapid descent capabilities. The DTG3’s 270 degree rotating camera offers a massive range of view for ship hulls, sea floors, and everything in between, without any need to maneuver thrusters.
The whole system fits into a single rugged Pelican case which can be taken as checked luggage during travel, making its portability unparalleled. At a price tag of $8,500USD, the DTG3 offers industrial quality accompanied by 5-star customer service at an aggressively competitive price.
The most common add-ons for the DTG3 include
The enhanced 4K camera upgrade delivers incredibly sharp videos to distinguish any fine details or irregularities during underwater inspections. The ultra wide lens on the 4K upgrade also allows for more content to fit on screen, and provides superior detail at shorter focal lengths. It also has a far greater range capability, allowing you to see detail further than with standard off the shelf 1080p cameras. See a comparison between the 1080p and 4K here:
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