5 Most Important Factors when Purchasing an ROV
Even though the term “underwater drone” is fairly new, the underwater cameras that it refers to have been around for decades now. Known by their traditional name, Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) have been used in various industries in a number of countries around the globe. From fish farms to energy platforms, research to ship building, and security to recreational fun, ROVs are used in varying conditions and need to be able to withstand the conditions surrounding the task at hand.
As the popularity for underwater exploration increases, so does the number of ROV manufacturers. Searching for the perfect underwater exploration and inspection tool can be overwhelming for anyone. Whether you are looking for an ROV to perform a specific inspection task or simply want an underwater drone to explore the depths, there are 5 important factors that should be considered to help you decide which ROV is the right choice.
1. RobustnessEvery time an ROV is deployed into the water it is met with a number of obstacles that it must overcome in order to perform well. Strong currents and objects such as rock formations or sunken debris can result in crashing the ROV. When considering what ROV to buy, you want to first consider how well it will hold up in situations where the water is a bit more rough than expected or there are more objects to run into than anticipated. What is it made of? Plastic or metal? How does its materials hold up against things like rust over time? What sort of testing is the ROV put through prior to being sold?
At Deep Trekker, quality is of the utmost importance in our shop. We build our ROVs using aluminum so that operators do not have to worry about cracks and rocks like they would if it was made out of plastic. The bodies are anodized and powder-coated to prevent them from rusting. Before leaving the shop, every single Deep Trekker ROV undergoes rigorous testing that includes a full run through of battery cycle and pressure test. We want to make sure that every single one of our units to go out the door is able to speak for itself when out in the field.
2. Ability to Handle the EnvironmentWhen deciding which ROV is best suited for your job, be sure to consider the weather conditions and environment of the area you will be working. While ROVs are built specifically to dive underwater, many models have a number of components that must stay dry at all times. This can be tricky when deploying the unit from the side of a boat or when working in rainy weather. Top-side power sources and components such as laptops and large screens can limit the usability of the ROV in poor weather conditions. Finding an ROV that is able to be deployed anywhere, in any type of condition is ideal.
Deep Trekker ROVs require absolutely no additional components to operate. With a splash proof controller, rain and water splashes from the lake or ocean are not a problem. Our ROVs are also able to withstand harsh temperatures down to -5° C (23°F).
3. Ease-of-UseAnother factor to consider when purchasing an ROV is the ease-of-use. How many components do you need to handle when piloting the ROV? Does it take more than one person to handle? Does it require training to use?
At Deep Trekker we pride ourselves on making an ROV that anybody can use. Our main goal is to make ocean exploration accessible to everyone. With Deep Trekker’s patented pitching system, maneuvering the ROV around obstacles is made easy with a bit of practice. Our ROVs also sport a gaming-style controller that allows you to see what the ROV sees right from the screen. While we offer training if asked, most of our ROV users get the hang of it after an afternoon of practicing in a pool.
4. ManageabilityHow easy is the overall unit to manage? From the time you decide to use the ROV to putting it in the water, to exploring the depths until you pack it up, having an easy-to-manage system is a very valuable feature of any ROV package.
Deep Trekker’s ROVs are 100% portable meaning that it can be deployed by one person from anywhere in under 5 minutes. Deep Trekker packages come with a tether reel to allow for easy tether management and have very little maintenance. With no O-rings or seals to grease or replace there is no need to open up the ROV at any time. The only maintenance that needs to be performed includes rinsing the ROV off with freshwater after having it in salt water and making sure that when the ROV is not being used for months at a time, the batteries are charged every few months.
5. PriceFrom large organizations to an individual, price is an important factor for everyone to consider. Especially when there are products available that are inexpensive but won't complete the projects you require or last in ocean waters, as well as products that provide a high price tag without providing high quality and features. Be sure to weigh the factors above when purchasing your unit against the associated short and long term costs.
At Deep Trekker, we have worked tremendously hard to keep our prices as affordable as possible and ensure that our products and spare parts are not out of reach for customers’ budgets. That being said, we were not willing to compromise the quality of our products for price. We use the highest quality parts available and provide robust features to best suit your applications, without an inflated price tag.
6. BONUSA bonus factor to take into consideration when purchasing your ROV is the customer support you will receive from the company. If something happens in field will you be able to call the company? How easy is it to get a hold of an engineer? Do you have a direct contact at the company?
At Deep Trekker this is most definitely one our highest priorities. When someone buys a Deep Trekker, we want them to become a part of the Deep Trekker Community. We are always open to feedback; some of our favourite moments stem from the people we get to meet and hearing about the projects they dos. We are truly and genuinely interested in what you’re doing and what you have to say.
So, if you’re considering purchasing an ROV any time soon, be sure to keep these 6 factors in mind when making your decision. They should make a world of difference.