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11-04-2022

H2O Drones can meet any challenge! Our product range for all circumstances…

Written by Karst Beens

We always see different circumstances when we take on jobs. Often, the assignment description is correct, but it can also suddenly have a deviation (such as differences in water levels). This can make it difficult to carry out an inspection in the right way. By deploying the entire product range of H2O Drones, every inspection can be performed!

The product range of our drones and crawlers

Basically, the range can be divided into two groups:

  • Drones (ROV’s)
  • Crawlers

Drones (read: underwater drones) can navigate in water, and they need water and space for a good inspection!
Crawlers, on the other hand, are very compact, for small spaces that do not always have to be full of water.

Due to the large contradictions in these products, an inspection can almost always be carried out! So dimensions and water levels do not have to be a problem for an inspection!

The product range of  H2O Drones’ ROV’s:

In our range there are 2 basic products underwater drones:

Starting with the Revolution ROV:

The Revolution is a unique underwater drone. The USP is a rotating head. Why is this so important? A rotating head means you don’t have to move the drone to get different images. The drone can remain hovering on the same spot in the water, while the camera or sonar still gets a different image!

By integrating many different features, the drone can do a lot:

  • DVL: Automatically fight against the current and accurately maintain the chosen position and height in the water!
  • Sonar: Always a good visibility of up to 60 metres!
  • Laser: With the laser pointers you can precisely measure deviations or cracks!
  • Thickness measurement: For thickness measurement of steel, such as sheet piling or ship hulls.

And there are many more possibilities, such as GPS, hydrophones… Or like below: a Caviblaster!

The DTG3:

The DTG3 is a completely different type of drone! It is a lot more compact, and has mainly the basic options of an underwater drone.
The camera can move around inside the drone without moving. This camera can easily maintain a fixed angle, despite movements or currents!
We ourselves have built many practical applications onto this drone, such as wheels to slide over a bottom, a GoPro attached to the side and also additional lights!

It is possible to connect a sonar to the underwater drone, and a number of other applications to be able to carry out a proper inspection. Because this drone has fewer features that are not needed by everyone, it is quite cheap to use as a starter!

The product range of H2O Drones’ crawlers:

The range of crawlers also consists of two basic models:

Pipe crawlers are mainly for small pipes such as sewers, rainwater pipes and dry bridge culverts.
Utility crawlers are adaptable for many different tasks, and can drive over metal surfaces with magnetic wheels or can clean pipes with a vacuum head!

Pipe crawlers:

Pipe Crawlers are very compact, but still have everything needed for a good inspection.
They come standard with a 4k camera, the cable is strong enough to withstand a pull of more than 80 kilos and the crawler itself is easy to handle for the easiest of inspections!

There are many different models and applications:

  • Robotic arm for turning in all directions
  • Zoom-camera to get the perfect details
  • Different wheels and tracks for ultimate grip!

Pipe crawlers can therefore be arranged and set up to meet your needs, for the best result in every inspection!

Utility crawlers:

Utility crawlers can be used for many different inspections!
The MAG edition has magnetic wheels and can therefore drive on metal objects. This is useful for inspections of metal sheet piling or ship hulls. So there is always a close-up view. There is also a possibility to attach a sonar to it, in case visibility is poor or an inspection has to be carried out at a long distance.

The VAC utility crawler has a suction head to actually vacuum a pipe. In this way, sludge can be sucked from the bottom and the pipeline will be a lot cleaner again! This is important during major maintenance, or can be used for drinking water tanks. A crawler can easily clean drinking water completely, where humans always bring some form of pollution with them.

“What is the best fit for an inspection?”

Honestly, that depends entirely on the inspection purposes and the circumstances. Underwater drones and crawlers can complement each other well and can be used in many different situations. They have different fields of work and therefore different specialities.

It can therefore be an added value to take a drone and a crawler with you. This way you are always prepared for any situation, and you can take on any challenge!


To find out more about our products, or how best to use them, please contact us.
You can also follow us on one of our social media channels:

02-02-2022

Thickness measurement of steel objects: How does it work?

Written by Karst Beens

What is a thickness gauge?

A thickness gauge is a device that can be used to quickly and easily measure the thickness of steel, e.g. ship hulls and steel sheet piles. The device is used in various sectors, such as industry, hydraulic engineering and infrastructure, but it is most commonly used to ensure that steel thickness complies with industry standards and regulations. It not only measures the thickness and density of the steel, but is also used as an additional quality assurance tool in industries such as hydraulic engineering to measure the uniformity of the steel and detect hidden damage or imperfections.

 

Explanation of the thickness measurement method

With the addition of the Cygnus ROV Thickness Gauge to our ROVs, inspectors can easily produce a clear report of what is happening beneath the vessel’s surface. The Cygnus Thickness Gauge is easy to mount on the ROV as the cable connects the gauge directly to the laptop. When the ROV is in the water, the pilot swims directly to the inspection site with the drone. To note the exact location of the inspection, press the nose of the thickness gauge lightly against the inspection surface.

The thickness gauge then emits various ultrasonic waves and uses these vibrations to accurately determine the thickness of the material. The gauge is very accurate: to within a tenth of a millimetre. A second operator keeps a watchful eye on the laptop and records all the data with a click. Notes can also be made if necessary. It has never been so easy to carry out inspections safely and quickly.

 

 

The Cygnus ROV thickness gauge measures metal thickness and quickly identifies areas of corrosion without removing protective layers. By emitting an echo, the gauge measures the density of the metal by measuring the delay in the return of the reverberation. To get a perceptible impression, the Cygnus thickness gauge emits multiple echoes.

 

 

 

 

 

The first echo determines the thickness of the protective coating. Ignoring the time delay of the protective coating for the next two echoes, the Cygnus system automatically documents the findings. With these reports, inspectors can accurately determine the integrity of the vessel and make a sound decision on a maintenance schedule.

 

Caviblaster

CaviBlasting is a unique and innovative method of removing fouling in a cost-effective and safe way. The technological basis of the blaster is the physics of hydrodynamic cavitation. The system generates high-energy cavitation in a controlled way. Simply put: a combination of water and small bubble implosions is sprayed onto an object with great force, removing fouling.

You can clean chains, propellers, hulls, walls and pretty much anything underwater with it. This is a safe and cost-effective alternative to using divers to clean a structure or taking the structure or vessel out of the water for cleaning.

On the Revolution ROV there is a possibility to fight against currents and the small corrections of the caviblaster. This can be done with the DVL. This is the best way to work on spot cleaning to clear metal objects of fouling. This ensures the most effective steel thickness measurement.

Continue reading “Thickness measurement of steel objects: How does it work?”

03-11-2021

The Pivot is the latest underwater drone, ROV from Deep Trekker!

Written by Karst Beens

The latest innovation in underwater drones! The Pivot has just been launched, and it’s ready to go right away!
We tell you everything you need to know about the brand new ROV.

The Pivot is a drone that can be used for inland waters as well as offshore! The appearance of the drone is based on offshore models, and this is scaled up and ready for inland waters. Because of the appearance, the balance of the ROV is outstanding!

What is the Pivot capable of?

The Pivot is a versatile drone, which is between the DTG3 and the Revolution in comparison. We have listed the most important general points for you here:

  • The Pivot can dive up to 300 meters deep
  • The camera can rotate 200 degrees
  • The batteries last up to 3 hours, and can be replaced within 1 minute.
  • 6 Propellers allowing you to always move freely in all directions.
  • Robotic gripper arm that can tilt 97 degrees!

What is the price range of the Pivot?

This underwater drone is also in between the other two drones in price range! It’s really a step-up model, with almost all the benefits of the Revolution…. But without the price of the Revolution! So you already have the Pivot with sonar for half the cost of the Revolution!

Possible accessories

Again, the Pivot sits between the DTG3 and the Revolution! Actually, all options are possible on the Pivot. This means that you can equip the ROV with:

  • Sonar and GPS
  • Grippers and samplers
  • DVL and USBL (for positioning)
  • Many sensors for the best measurements

This way you can customise the drone yourself, and get the best results by adding additional accessories to your composition!

Comparison to other drones

As mentioned, the Pivot sits in between the other two drones. For anyone who is not ready for a Revolution, but still wants more options than the DTG3 can provide, this is the ideal intermediate step.
Because the underwater drone has a head that houses the camera and lights, you can rotate it separately from the rest of the body. This keeps you in the exact position, but allows you to view from a different angle!

With capability for sonar integration, you have visibility in any water, and you can use the grapple arm to grab objects, and bring them to the surface.

Also, the brand new Pivot is a lot lighter than the Revolution! So this ROV (without accessories) weighs only 16.7 KG. This makes the Pivot portable by just one person.

Like the other drones, the Pivot is delivered completely in Pelican cases. This ensures convenience, and provides the ideal protection for the drone. You can now store it safely at all times!

Other information:

  • The drone has up to 3oo meters of cable
  • Is always fully tested and has at least 1 year warranty
  • LCD controller, for image in all circumstances
  • Ability to switch live between camera and sonar

And so there are many options and possibilities that we like to discuss with you!


If you have any questions about the Pivot, or other opportunities we can offer you, please contact us!

To always stay up to date with developments of H2O Drones and Deep Trekker, you can follow us on social media:

24-08-2021

Hoe kan een ROV dataverwerking optimaliseren? – H2O Drones

Written by Karst Beens

A ROV or underwater drone has many strengths compared to traditional inspection methods. The most important points are listed below:

  • Cost-saving
  • Safety
  • Range and visibility underwater
  • Data + data processing

Further on in this blog you will read exactly why an underwater drone is so good at collecting data and processing it.
Data-driven work is of great importance and will only become more important in the future.

Collecting data with an ROV

Data collection with an underwater drone is very easy! As soon as the drone is started up and in the water, you are already collecting data. All the images you take are automatically stored on an SD card. This includes both the camera and the sonar images.
All additional measurements that you can see on the controller are also included and stored. You can see at what height and angle the drone is underwater, which way the drone is facing (via a compass) and how far the camera is adjusted up or down.

This way you can always see everything exactly. By combining all the data, you get a total picture of the data, which you can use later for analyses and any follow-up steps.

 

Save and review the collected data

When your inspection is complete, you can remove the SD card from the controller and insert it into a computer or laptop. If you remove the images from the card immediately, you will be ready for the next inspection!
As soon as the images are on your computer, you have a large amount of raw data, i.e. all the images you have made are in it.

With all the raw data you can of course show a lot, but an inspection often revolves around a few highlights that will appear in damage reports. So you can easily edit, cut and paste the images in programs and make sure that all the highlights of the inspection are there.

Data processing

All data on the computer can be freely processed. All data and measurements made enable you to make a precise analysis of a possible problem and its extent. The camera images give a clear picture of what is happening to the asset underwater.
The sonar images can also be freely edited. You can increase the playback speed, zoom in on a possible anomaly and stop the images to take a closer look.

 

This is often what the sonar images look like in an analysis:

With all these possibilities, writing a damage report or a report is easy, and you have a lot of certainty because everything is based entirely on figures and measurements.

Don’t want to make a report because the sonar images are difficult to read? We can do that for you too! We have been analysing the images and processing them into a report for years!

Follow-up plans and periodic inspections

After the image analyses, you have been able to draw up a (possible) damage report, and a follow-up plan can be made.

If repairs are necessary, they can be carried out!

Perhaps the most important thing of all is the measurements and precise data you have obtained:
It is perfectly possible to inspect periodically. You know exactly at what height, depth and angle the damage was during the previous inspection. You can inspect these again some time later with the same inspection. This way, you can compare the images and accurately determine what the differences are and when action is really necessary!

 

Conclusion:

With an ROV, you can obtain precise data. You can analyse and process this data, draw up reports and carry out periodic inspections from here. With the data you have acquired, everything is a lot more precise, and you can always fall back on figures and data!


Would you like a demonstration to see how data is acquired and what it can be used for later? Then get in touch with us!

To keep up with the latest developments, follow our social media channels:

06-07-2021

Signi Search Dogs and H2O Drones: a collaboration

Written by Karst Beens

Signi Search Dogs is a foundation that searches for missing persons. Recently, there has been a cooperation between this search and rescue team and H2O Drones. Dutch waters are not always safe for divers and sometimes unpredictable. “That’s where an underwater drone comes in handy,” says Esther van Neerbos from Signi Search Dogs.

“We are a foundation that locates missing people. We started with dogs and eventually built up a whole team, because we don’t just want to locate people, we want to bring them home,” says Van Neerbos. It is simply not always easy for divers to operate safely anywhere in the Netherlands. “That’s why the use of underwater drones is valuable for us,” adds Van Neerbos.

She says that working with the drones has gone smoothly. “We used it once to find a missing person and to look for things that could serve as evidence in a murder case,” Van Neerbos says. The underwater drone also found evidence there, which is now being investigated by the police.

Large and deep ponds often take a long time to cover, she says. “That’s why we used a drone to cover more area in a shorter time. The lake was 23 metres deep and then it’s perfect to have a drone that can swim everywhere quickly.” She goes on to tell of a mission that took place near a shipping channel. The same kind of mission that could be dangerous for divers. “Then, if a ship approached, we could just retrieve the drone. Otherwise, shipping traffic had to be stopped there.”

The advantage of drones is that they can sometimes get to places where a person’s safety is at risk. “We also recently had a missing person stuck in a weir. That is already an unsafe place for people in general. It was difficult for divers to get there, but the drone can reach them safely. It’s nice when it can be done safely,” says Van Neerbos.

The insight the drone provides during a mission is valuable, Van Neerbos agrees. “It’s just super imaging what the drone does. The images are crisp and the sonar works well. We had some experience with sonar ourselves, so working with a drone is even easier.” H2O Drones also provided the foundation with courses so they could familiarise themselves with the underwater drones.

“A combination of our work and that with the drone is almost perfect. When we have a hint of an interesting research area with the boat, we set a buoy there so that the drone can investigate the area quickly and efficiently,” says Van Neerbos. “Then, when we have found something of value, we have to investigate it in sections. We can’t keep the divers underwater all the time. A drone, on the other hand, can, and if we have found something important, we can investigate undisturbed for a couple of hours,” she adds.

Van Neerbos says that working with H2O Drones makes the job much easier. “The underwater drone serves as a kind of link between the underwater world and what is happening above water. It gives more dynamics,” she says.

She talks about her work with passion. “Our foundation has been around for about sixteen years, but we have been doing this work for almost thirty years. The most important motive for us is that we can give the bereaved some form of reassurance in dealing with a missing person. That’s why our team is so motivated and we always give our best.”