Team's collaboration with VideoRay yields many improvements to design and implementation of new technology
VideoRay thrusters have played a crucial role in many of the winners and top teams at Robosub over the years. At the 2015 competition Mark Fleming, VideoRay's San Diego employee, had a unique offer. Teams who could use the brand new technology in VideoRay's "Mission Specialist" thrusters almost a year before they were commercially available. This allowed VideoRay's engineering group to receive feedback on all aspects of the thrusters – performance, durability, features, and software. While several teams received thrusters, none were as serious or as demanding as Cal Tech's team.
Early in their testing several materials issues arose, and not only did Caltech provide feedback, they wrote a technical paper on their analysis and recommendations. These issues were then addressed before customer shipments. Other suggestions on improvements to control and feedback software are being evaluated for implementation in future releases.
The collaboration with Caltech has resulted in the industry's most powerful, efficient, and advanced thruster in this size and weight category. The fact that is both more powerful and efficient was key to victory in a battery-powered environment like Robosub. Control and feedback are far more advanced than any other option, including VideoRay's previous industry-leading Pro 4 and Pro 3 thrusters.
We greatly appreciate the help we received from Caltech, and look forward to working with their robotics teams for years to come.
Japan Foundation uses the VideoRay Pro 4 as part of the Japan and the Ocean program for elementary school childern
On July 14th , elementary school children from Goto city participated in an experiential learning program to study about renewable energy and the local environment. About 90 students in the 5th and 6th grades (11 and 12 years old) had the opportunity to visit an offshore windfarm off the coast of Sakiyama, as well as learn from experts.
This event was organized by the Japan Foundation as a part of their national "Japan and the Ocean" program. This was the second opportunity for Goto city to host the program, this time focusing on "Marine renewable energy, fishery promotion and science".
Boulders on track caused wreck to tumble into depths over 200 feet; pictures and video show remarkable preservation
This story starts over a hundred years ago when a steam locomotive, a tender, and two box cars hit rock fall debris and fell off a Cliffside rail into Lake Superior. Three crew members died in the accident, but the missing rail equipment was not found until 2014, where one of the box cars was located by Terry Irvine of Ingersoll, PN, Paul Turpin of Discovery Charters in Rossport, ON and Bob Krause of Schreiber, ON. They vowed to return and continue to search, and two years later they did. On July 22nd, Tom Crossmon of Duluth, MN offered his 24 foot Lake Assault boat, ROV, and considerable ROV experience to a crew that also consisted of Ron Benson, Todd Janquart, Dave Schlenker, and Mac Schlenker. Tom's VideoRay Pro 4 ROV could spend unlimited time at any depth that the search would require, and was equipped with imaging sonar. This high tech search tool, combined with Tom's skill and a bit of luck, allowed him to located the locomotive and the remaining cars, and to image them along with the divers after the location was determined.
Recounting his experience, Tom noted "I was blown away to be the first person in 106 years to see this train as were the others on the boat with me." There are plans to return to the wreck site in August to do more documentation of the remarkably good condition it is in.
Homeland Security Grant provides underwater search, inspection, and recovery tools
The Norfolk Police Department Harbor Patrol recently completed training on over $100,000 of robotic equipment , and completed VideoRay Certified Pro 4 unit training at the harbor. The Harbor Patrol Unit partners with the United States Coast Guard to ensure the safe flow of waterborne critical assets transiting the Norfolk Harbor. Training of Harbor Patrol officers prepares members for natural disasters and terrorist acts. The recent VideoRay equipment will enhance the preparedness of these officers to handle port security. (link http://www.norfolk.gov/documentcenter/view/1003 )
This is the second VideoRay win at NPD – in 2003, the NPD purchased at VideoRay Pro 2 unit, which still functions. The latest equipment includes multi-beam imaging sonar from BlueView Technologies, Smart Tether from KCF, LYYN video clarification, and VIdeoRay's rotating manipulator, hull crawling, and radiation detection accessories. The five day training, completed in June 2016, included operations of all of the systems and accessory combinations, basic maintenance, and techniques for operating in very cloudy water with less than one foot of visibility.
Instructor Brett Kolb, with over 10 years of operational experience in all aspects of VideoRay operations, maintenance, and repair, was very impressed with the six member team from the Harbor Patrol Unit, commenting that they had clearly treated everyone with equal respect, and had gained the trust of everyone they worked with in Norfolk. They were also very familiar with different underwater handheld and sidescan sonar tools, and were impressed with the performance and integration of the VideoRay sonar, positioning, video, still photo, and manipulation functions.