SeaBotix vLBV Sales Reach 100 Systems

Posted by Eric Haun
Monday, May 12, 2014
Image courtesy SeaBotix

SeaBotix Inc. announced 100 sales of its vectored Little Benthic Vehicle ROV (vLBV).

The vLBV was launched in 2011 and was the brainchild of SeaBotix’ Senior Vice President Jesse Rodocker whose vision was to address the subsea industry’s need for a small, easily deployable, compact ROV with adjustable angle (vectored) thrusters in order to complement and advance the capability of the well-established SeaBotix ROV range in the offshore environment.

The 100th SeaBotix vLBV system will be delivered to the Centre for Earth Observation Sciences (CEOS) at the University of Manitoba, Canada. The purchase was funded by The Canada Foundation for Innovation project and sold through MacArtney Underwater Technology Group’s Ocean Science Department as part of a consolidated delivery of scientific subsea equipment. The 300m (1,000 ft.) capable vLBV is tested and rated for operations in subzero conditions and will be used for bio-optical studies under ice in the Arctic. The system will be delivered complete with a range of scientific tools including Spectral Radiance and Irradiance sensors, CTD probe, Tritech MicronNav USBL tracker, two color cameras, grabber and additional inverted Valeport VA500 altimeter for assisting in measurement of depth under ice.

A spokesperson for CEOS commented, "The SeaBotix vLBV ROV will be the central workhorse for field data collection of the new Arctic Biogeochemical Optics Laboratory (ABOL), funded through the Canada Foundation for Innovation – John R. Evans Leaders Fund and the province of Manitoba, Canada. ABOL will be a state-of-the-art facility embedded within the Centre for Earth Observation Science (CEOS) at the University of Manitoba, able to fully exploit light-matter interactions for environmental research in ice-covered waters using a combination of field observations and laboratory studies. We note that we were very satisfied by the professionalism and ideas brought forward by Andrew Ziegweid of the MacArtney Underwater Technology Group in helping design and meet the final specifications required for the fully integrated bio-optical ROV system.”

A spokesperson for MacArtney said, “Given the CEOS requirements for a small yet powerful ROV and the need to operate under ice with a suite of scientific sensors, the vLBV was the obvious package.”

Subsea entrepreneur, founder and CEO of SeaBotix Inc., Don Rodocker added, “SeaBotix has had a long and proud history of supplying leading edge technologies to the global scientific community. Additionally, the vLBV has proven to be the ideal solution for operations in the Arctic and Antarctic, through previous under ice expeditions and following extensive testing and subsequent operations with the Royal Canadian Navy. Therefore, it is very fitting that the 100th system should be destined for such an esteemed Institution in Canada.”

The vLBV was developed with innovative design and meticulous attention to detail in order to provide an extremely rugged and stable platform with exceptional power to weight ratio - (22.5 Kg / 50 lb. thrust in a vehicle weighing only 18 Kg / 40 lb.).

Additionally, the 8.9mm (0.45 in) diameter, high workload tether and high stability, 6 thruster chassis allows for operations in extremely demanding and fast moving sea conditions, complete with a range of payloads for numerous underwater applications.

The vLBV is available in 300m and 950m depth rated free-flying versions. With 300m – 4,000m rated Tether Management System (TMS) and fly-out variants (deployed from larger work class ROVS, trenching systems, submarines and Autonomous Surface Vehicles) or as a Turnkey, containerized deep water package solution. A tracked crawler skid can also be fitted in order to carry out vessel hull and infrastructure inspection / light intervention in high water current situations. Add to this, the SmartFlight Automated Navigation Package allowing for preprogrammed waypoint navigation, station keeping, auto altitude and other semi-autonomous functionality.

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