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

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:

Thickness measurement of steel objects: How does it work?

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.



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?”

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

The latest innovation in underwater drones! The Pivot is the latest underwaterdrone, 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 full HD-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!

Ideal for, among others:

  1. Water tank inspections
  2. Ship inspections
  3. Pipeline inspections
  4. Working in harbours and rivers
  5. Inspecting bridges, floodgates and stowages.

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:

How H2O Drones is making a difference in the world of underwater inspections!

A while ago, we published a blog with malpractices in the world of underwater drones. It was mainly about purchases without service, by companies that are purely focused on sales. But new technology often turns out to be difficult to use. And how do you know beforehand what you actually need most?
Now we explain which services H2O Drones offers, to show that not all companies are only focused on sales.

What goes wrong when buying underwater drones?

We call it ‘blind buying’, where a drone is bought without knowing what is best for the user. This has a few clearly distinguishable causes:

  1. Misleading information from companies
  2. A purchase purely focused on budget
  3. No service.

Misleading information from companies:

Many companies advertise everywhere on the website with great images of clear blue water. Nice, but in our area only found in swimming pools.
With a good camera, there is of course a lot of visibility in these waters, but in the turbid water we have in the Netherlands, visibility is very limited. In fact, often the visibility is only one metre! Then a camera alone might not be enough.

A purchase purely focused on budget:

This is a sensitive point, because it is not the companies themselves that are responsible for this, but the consumers!
If you do not know whether a drone really suits you, it is logical not to buy the most expensive one. But a drone from China that is bought at a bargain price can never be as good as a quality drone.

Often, cheap ROVs do not last long, and the possibilities are very limited. If you are not satisfied with this (kind of) drone, it does not mean that all underwater drones are of this quality.

Quite simply, a good price often results in poor quality.

No service:

Often with the cheap underwater drones, the service is also poor, if there is any service at all! For a small budget you cannot expect the best service. But often there is no service at all, especially from companies that operate abroad. Products are sold without extra information, training or help with orientation in the market.

H2O Drones sees a gap in the market here. Literally, because these are things that should be very normal but are not happening!


How is H2O Drones trying to fill this gap in the market?
Services around purchasing:

To start with, the aforementioned things do get done by H2O Drones.

Customers are helped in a buying decision process, to see if the drone is really the right match. We don’t want to hear that an ROV is just put away because it’s not good enough. (Real tailor-made advice)
For example, we often recommend installing a sonar on the underwater drone if it is going to be used a lot in murky water.

After purchase we offer a standard course with theoretical and practical experience. This will enable you to actually use the drone.

Should the ROV you have purchased not be enough? We also help as an external independent party with your inspections, if required.

Extra possibilities offered by H2O Drones:

Hiring is also possible! If an inspection is a one-off, or you don’t have enough time, money or expertise to purchase a drone, we will take this work off your hands. We can do this for you:

  • Independent inspection by an inspector with more than 30 years background in hydraulic engineering/water related assets.
  • Prepare a report with a clear analysis of the images taken
  • Clean your assets!
  • Provide you with advice.

Thus, H2O Drones is not a company that wants to sell as many drones as possible, but wants to help everyone the best it can and ensure underwater safety!

Would you like to contact us? Then click here!

You can follow us on our social media channels:

Hoe kan een ROV dataverwerking optimaliseren? – H2O Drones

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!



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:

Signi Search Dogs and H2O Drones: a collaboration

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.”

Benefits of an ROV: Safety, accessibility and much more!

In many ways, an underwater drone or ROV is the perfect instrument to use for inspections. In fact, there are too many distinctive points to emphasise. This is therefore a subject that will be divided into several blogs! In this blog we will talk about:

  • Safety
  • Accessibility
  • Visibility

Safety is the first priority with underwater drones!

ROVs provide safety in many different fields. There is safety underwater and on the shore.

An underwater drone can be used anywhere that a diver can reach. Situations that are (possibly) unsafe for divers can be inspected with an ROV. This does not mean that an underwater drone needs to take over all the inspections from a diver! An ROV can also be used for a pre-dive inspection. With this inspection, a diving area can be declared safe, thus providing certainty about the situation of the diver.

The diver can also be monitored with the drone. By keeping the diver in sight at all times, he can be helped from the shore by pointing out possible dangers that the diver has not seen. It is also possible to keep an eye on the line to which the diver is attached; if the diver gets stuck on something, it is easy to see this with an extra pair of eyes underwater.

Improving safety underwater also increases the chance of a successful inspection. This often means that safety above water is also better. There are far fewer uncertainties, and assets can be properly inspected. Assets with a bad state of repair can be maintained in time.


Underwater accessibility with an ROV

There is also a safety element in accessibility! Professional divers may be able to dive deep, but because of decompression sickness they need a lot of time to get back to the surface. It can therefore happen that an inspection is not completely finished and has to be carried out in several parts.

An ROV works on batteries, which can last up to 8 hours! So inspections underwater can be carried out for much longer. And in case the batteries of the drone or the controller run out, they can be charged or exchanged for spare batteries in 3 minutes. So you can get back to inspecting in no time.


Also, an ROV is much less limited to a maximum depth! Often the maximum depth depends on the length of the cable. Our ROVs can dive up to 300 metres deep! Something that is actually not applicable in Dutch waters!

When it comes down to it, what would you rather have?

  • An accident with an ROV, resulting in financial loss.
  • An accident with a diver, resulting in serious injuries or worse…

You can send an ROV into any situation, in the worst case it will cost you money. So you never put people’s lives at risk!

See up to 60 metres ahead in murky water?

Visibility is actually the most important thing in a successful inspection! Logically, to inspect you need to be able to see something.

But often the visibility underwater is quite poor, especially close to the bottom. If visibility is less than one metre, an inspection will take a very long time and there is a good chance that crucial points will be missed. Certainly matters that can only be measured at a greater distance require good visibility.

But when it is not there? Then you see just as little with an ROV as with a diver. The camera is of 4k quality, which is really good. But this camera cannot see through mud, just as the eyes of a human cannot.

Our ROVs can be equipped with sonar! With the sonar, a full inspection can still be carried out in waters with poor visibility. The sonar can even be set to look 60 metres ahead. (This is further than the length of an Olympic swimming pool!). In this way, an inspection where a wider spectrum is needed can be carried out properly.

The sonar can be viewed live, and adjustment during an inspection is therefore always possible. Have you spotted something striking or abnormal on the sonar? Then you can always sail to the location and switch to the camera to get a close-up view. By regularly switching between sonar and camera, you always have the right image with you!


In short: An ROV offers safety, security, can handle large jobs and always has visibility!

This makes an underwater drone often the right choice for your job. Which underwater drone is most suitable? That depends entirely on your field of work. We will be happy to discuss the possibilities with you, and look for the best options, even if this means that you do not need certain options!

Follow us on our social media channels, to see the latest developments in the world of underwater drones!

YouTube, Facebook and LinkedIn!

Ship inspection and proper matching of accessories!

We help you with the ship inspection of all kind of ships. Boats, ships, vessels… All different words for the Hull inspection we can provide for you and your company!

Maritime shipping remains the primary method of transporting billions of euros worth of goods. In such a huge industry, safety is incredibly important. Using an underwaterdrone / or ROV, operators or drivers, can safely and efficiently carry out inspections of underwater vessels.



The inspection of seagoing vessels under water is important for many reasons;

  • Save money and time by understanding what is happening under your vessel without the intervention of divers.
  • Make the best use of the necessary dive team time by doing a pre-inspection with an underwater drone.
  • Proactively manage your fuel efficiency by performing regular ROV inspections of your hull to determine optimal cleaning and painting schedules.
  • Regular hull inspections are a way to prevent damage and corrosion on and under the boat.
  • Carrying out hull inspections can provide insight into whether or not the structure and load-bearing capacity of your vessel is at risk.
  • Underwater hull inspections confirm that your hull is free of barnacles and other marine life.
  • Provide peace of mind!




Underwaterrobots or ROVs are underwaterdrones that enable users to read up on serious environmental problems. Deep Trekker ROVs are portable, affordable, high quality and easy to use, providing solutions for various underwater projects.

As innovators in the underwater ROV industry, H2O Drones can provide the right robotic system for your needs. Commercial grade, low maintenance and durable, H2O Drones’ underwater robots are easy to transport and deploy.

As the official certified distributor of the Netherlands and Belgium we are the ideal step in between, we have a lot of expertise and experience. With this we can help everyone in a tailor-made way, assess situations and determine what the right next steps are.

Deep Trekker offers two brand new, innovative underwater drones: the DTG3 and the REVOLUTION.

Intelligent and advanced, the DTG3 is the best in its class. The mini underwater drone is built to allow operators to quickly deploy and visually inspect within the underwater environment. With depths of up to 200 metres, the battery-powered vehicles last up to 8 hours! The highly manoeuvrable underwater robot is transported in a single case and is built to last. The camera provides excellent real-time 4k live video, even in low light. In addition, it is also small, and can enter all corridors, locks and pipes that are 500mm in size.

The REVOLUTION is a completely improved ROV. With a larger payload and advanced stabilisation systems, the REVOLUTION is a serious vehicle. With a depth of up to 300 metres, the underwater drone has a wide range of comprehensive sensor integrations. The patented rotary head allows operators to rotate the 4K-UHD camera, manipulators and sonar while remaining stabilised in the water.

The Pivot is right in the middle of the other ROVs. It is actually a mid-range mini-ROV. With 6 propellers, this underwater drone is extremely manoeuvrable. This also makes the Pivot a lot more stable and powerful. It is suitable for actions where there is a greater current in the water. The sonar integration is also applicable to the Pivot. This ROV has options for almost all DeepTrekker accessories and can be used by just one man.




Hull inspections are important, but how should they be carried out? Throughout the shipping industry, dry docking (putting a ship on dry land) is usually used for hull inspection. The procedures established by the regulatory authorities and the companies are valid and exist to ensure that the ships operate properly and safely. However, taking your vessel completely out of the water when it is not needed can cost a lot of time and money. From a financial, structural and inspection point of view, it is important to inspect your hull while it is in the water in between mandatory dry dockings. With an underwater drone, you can quickly get eyes underwater and inspect hulls in an instant – without expensive and time-consuming dry-docking.

Although divers also offer an alternative to drydocking, there are potential drawbacks. In addition to the financial responsibility of hiring a professional diving team, the timing and scheduling of this diver can be prohibitive. Perhaps most importantly, an ROV keeps people out of harm’s way. Keep divers out of small, awkward or treacherous conditions by using an underwater ROV for vessel inspections. This adds an extra dimension to safety, because if there are no people underwater, there can be no accidents with people underwater. A simple principle, but there is still a lot of profit to be made here.

There are also several accessories offered by H2O Drones to maximise your ROV for underwater hull inspections.

  • The Cygnus thickness gauge allows you to evaluate the thickness of steel on hulls, tanks or other metal surfaces. The probe presses down on the surface of the hull, taking an accurate measurement of the fouling on the outer layer caused by dirt and marine life.
  • The auxiliary cameras add more angles to your 4k videos. The customised auxiliary cameras allow users to switch between the main camera and auxiliary camera for viewing and recording. This saves operating time, which saves money.
  • Auxiliary lighting adds 1,000 lumens to the total illumination capacity of the DTG3. The additional illumination is important when inspecting in dark or deep water.
  • Sonar options provide a way for operators to gain visibility in dark or murky water, where cameras and lighting are not enough.
  • The laser scaler option provides operators with a reference to measure the size of a potential problem. This is a useful tool for more accurate estimations and allows for a better approach to precise solutions.
  • The use of underwater drones also has applications that extend to entire shipping fleets. With ROVs, port authorities and border security officers are able to conduct an efficient hull inspection on each individual ship to pass through their waters without the need for a human to enter the water, or the high cost and delay of dry docking.



When ROVs are shipped, they are modified to float neutrally in the water. That said, by using the small metal plates attached to the drone’s handles, you can add more weight or remove weight to set your drone to positive or negative buoyancy. Remove one plate from under each handle of the ROV to set your device to positive buoyancy. This means that when the device is in the water, it will no longer stay at the depth you drove it to, but will slowly rise in the water to the surface. This can help when performing a hull inspection to make sure you stay close to the hull of the vessel and don’t sink to the bottom.

Once you have your underwater drone set up for positive buoyancy, consider adding the track wheel accessory. (No, these are not the same wheels as those on our pipe and tube systems). Caterpillar wheels replace the top handles of a drone. As it hovers towards the hull, wheels are attached so that you can drive it along the hull. By pointing your camera directly upwards, you can now get a clear view of any abnormalities in your hull, with the best close-up view! All this can now easily be done without risk of damaging the drone or the ship.

Lighting, lighting, lighting! By adding extra lighting to your ROV you can ensure that you can carry out a complete hull inspection anywhere and at any time of the day. Enjoying a night cruise and accidentally hitting something? Want to make sure the hull is in order before leaving your boat in the water overnight? Auxiliary lights on your ROV can ensure that no matter where you are or what time of day it is, you can complete your inspection on time.

Should the water be too murky as well as dark? Is visibility 0 even with lighting? Then use the Oculus sonar. This enables inspection in the least visible places. A direct connection to the controller means that a good image can still be obtained and data processing is easy.

The DTG3 ROV 4K-UHD camera has a 320-degree field of view in front, behind, above and below. However, sometimes you need to take a shot directly from the side. You can equip your ROV with side-facing cameras. Then you simply drive the ROV by the hull and capture images from different vantage points to get an accurate picture of the state of your vessel.

Using underwater ROVs for ship inspection has many advantages. Check out our social media pages to always stay informed about what we can do for you, and what the benefits are of underwater drones!

You can follow us on Facebook or LinkedIn, so you always know what we can help you with, and you can easily stay in touch with us.

What are the benefits of using a ROV for (drink)water tanks?

How can the drone / robot best be used?

Tank inspection is necessary for structurally healthy, clean and safe water tanks. Without inspections, problems can quickly arise, including sludge in the tank. This jeopardises the integrity and cleanliness of the tank.

There are already standards for the inspection of water tanks, in different categories. Basically, it comes down to the following:

  • Draining and inspecting a water tank
  • Wet inspection of a water tank

Both must be carried out periodically. The wet inspection used to be done with divers, but nowadays it can be done in a different way.

H2O Drones offers advanced remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to change the world of water tank inspections. The drones are proving themselves as a valuable tool for safe, accurate, clean and convenient tank inspections. Why is this so? Read on and see why underwater drones are essential for tank inspections.

See here how it is done:



Tank inspections can vary greatly and users may require small, precise movements and large, sweeping movements in the same inspection. Adjusting the gain control will increase or decrease the speed and steering sensitivity of the ROV, allowing operators to maximise control. The gain control can be adjusted using the two sets of arrows in the centre of the controller. Set the gain as low as 1 or as high as 12 (10%-120% power) to easily make small, precise manoeuvres or large, extended passes.



With Deep Trekker’s innovative BRIDGE technology, underwater drones provide automated control and stability for operators, allowing them to keep the camera focused on the inspection. Easily perform vertical inspections of walls by rotating the camera while keeping the ROV in place. The 270-degree camera rotation also allows operators to quickly and easily inspect ceilings, floors and walls.



When inspecting water tanks, towers and other water storage facilities, it is important to keep the water clean. One of the main advantages of using an underwater robot for inspection purposes is that they do not introduce contaminants into the water as a diver might. Prior to entering the tank, underwater drones can be fully sanitised with a chlorine solution without any negative effects on the ROV itself. Keep the water tanks clean and free from contamination!



The laser accessory is a useful tool for understanding the size of objects or potential errors. It emits two laser beams 25mm away from the camera. The operator can then map objects, cracks or rust spots from up to 2 metres away. The lasers follow the camera as it rotates, so the beams can be viewed on the screen at all times. With these lasers, the operators can make a more accurate estimate of the size of objects in order to make a proper analysis for a follow-up plan.


In addition to providing live underwater images, the underwater drones can allow users to record both photos and videos during inspections. This content can be further enhanced with voice notes or titles to properly archive and present the inspections to clients. Data can be transmitted immediately and stored for analysis, where raw data can be converted to useful information. Recorded content is also useful for training and internal review processes.

H2O Drones also offers tank cleaning tools in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany from Deep Trekker. These are designed to enable thorough and efficient cleaning without taking tanks out of service. See the DT640 Utility Crawler with vacuum and high pressure cleaning options.

Would you like to know more about tank inspections and the possibilities of an underwater drone for your company? We are available 24/7 on e-mail (info@h2o-drones.com), Facebook and LinkedIn and will answer your question as soon as possible!


How ROVs optimise search and rescue budgeting…

Remote controlled underwater drones or ROVs) provide search and rescue teams with a safe and effective tool for searching and recovering victims and evidence.

Typically, search and recovery teams have limited budgets to carry out incredibly complex and difficult work. The use of an underwater robot allows teams to make the most of the budget they have to carry out operations.

To explain this, here are some true stories where the use of an underwater drone really helped!

There are some true stories here, where we don’t always have the subtleness read… at your own risk.



An underwater drone is a highly manoeuvrable underwater vehicle equipped with a camera to provide operators with a live view of the underwater environment. Intelligent and easy-to-use ROVs are durable and portable solutions for underwater inspections.

The DTG3 is a mini observation class underwater robot built to allow operators to quickly deploy and visually inspect below the water’s edge. Equipped with an internal, rotating full-hd camera, the unit can maintain position in the water while rotating 270° above and below water. Using expert engineering and the help of gravity, the ROV shell and propellers can be rotated while gravity holds the internal semi-circle-weighted frame down. This allows the ROV to ride straight up and down, forward and backward, while using the same propellers for thrust.

The REVOLUTION is a completely redesigned underwater drone. This mission-ready ROV offers a larger payload, can dive deeper and has advanced stabilisation. Rotating the head allows operators to rotate the camera, manipulators and sonar 260° while in moving water. The 6 propellers provide side-to-side movement of the camera and accurate rotation forward and backward, providing maximum control and an advanced stability posture.

Both vehicles operate with BRIDGE-technology from Deep Trekker. The BRIDGE offers enhanced operational capabilities with a technology platform and provides simplified control and constant communication for optimal usage of your drone.



The use of an underwaterdrone allows teams to minimise their used budget by keeping divers safe, and to use an ROV in difficult or challenging situations. In addition, divers can be spared for situations where they are absolutely necessary, allowing the ROV to handle more mundane tasks.

Search and rescue missions can be dangerous and time consuming for divers, making an underwater drone or robot an incredibly useful tool for teams. Working alongside divers, ROVs provide immediate eyes in the water to assist in many facets of recovery and salvage, from the rapid identification of targets to retrieving items from dangerous locations.

Shane Seagroves, Director of Emergency Services in Lee County, NC noted one specific instance where an underwater drone kept divers out of the water. “You take the ROV and you can find your target on the bottom pretty easily,” Seagroves noted. “We identify the target with the boat, so we use the ROV instead of having to hop with the divers. We deploy the ROV from the boat and check the target.”

When using the ROV, this means the divers do not have to spend too much time identifying the targets.

Seagroves stressed that divers still have a place to search and rescue and that the use of ROVs is not about replacing divers, but about keeping divers safer. “A lot of the divers are hesitant to ask us to come out because they thought we were trying to take them out and it’s never been for that. It’s always to make it safer for everyone out there.”

Maine State Police Special Agent Glenn Lang echoes Seagroves’ statement, “You don’t replace them, it makes them safer and it protects the lives of the divers because it can be so dangerous to go under the ice…. 25 years ago I lost one of my friends diving under the ice, it’s just so risky losing divers that way is just unacceptable when you can put an ROV underwater.”

Using an underwater drone in search and rescue missions allows divers to stay safe and out of treacherous situations. In addition, the ROV can provide assistance to divers so they can complete their missions in a timely manner and reduce the time underwater.

“It’s all about safety for us,” Seagroves shared. “Safety for our divers, and speeding up the process.”


The use of ROVs allows teams to minimise the time required for search and recovery. By using the ROV for target search and identification, teams can quickly find victims and evidence.

During the ‘rescue’ of Kelsey Starling, Ashton Davis, Houston County Search and Rescue Chief and Board President, noted that using “the camera rotation feature as opposed to driving and risking entanglement” was incredibly helpful. In addition, the depth of the search area is often more than 70 metres; meaning the divers would have to decompress for almost three hours to search for 45 minutes. The DTG3 was able to dive all day, reducing the risk and maximising the search time for Kelsey.

Davis noted that the use of an ROV was essential throughout the search process. Maximising both the safety and efficiency of the diver allowed the team to conduct the search in the best possible way. “It will definitely be one of the tools in our toolbox,” Davis said.

Seagroves shared a comparison of two searches, one using an underwater drone and one using towing procedures. “There were two drownings, 30 miles apart, within two days. They called me to go to the first one. My first passage with the boat I got a good view pulled the ROV down and checked the target, attached the ROV to his swimwear. The diver entered the water, followed the tether down and the victim was in a body bag and back in the boat, literally no more than 15 minutes after the diver first entered the water surface.

That is a success. You cut yourself off from the family, you drop the risk factor for the divers and you don’t keep people in the water all day. On the second drowning, we weren’t called to go up…they were on the 6 o’clock evening news via a helicopter flying over them and they were towing in the bay…that was a 24-30 hour salvage on a victim lying in a bay. Our salvage was less than an hour, they were there for 30 hours.”

Salvage can also be made faster and safer by using an ROV to assist divers. Ashton Davis of Houston County Rescue also uses their ROV to make salvage quick and safe. In the Kelsey Starling case, the team intentionally wrapped the DTG3 around the nearest tree to use as their dive guide line. Davis noted that, “having a tether really helps.”

Seagroves uses the ROV in a similar way to make recovery faster and safer for the divers. “We attach the ROV to the target and let the diver go down and do the salvaging,” Seagroves explained.

“By far the best piece of equipment other than divers is this ROV,” Davis shared, adding that the work possible with both human divers and an ROV makes for an ideal search and recovery team. The battery life allows for long searches in deep and potentially dangerous waters without tiring divers unnecessarily, while the advanced camera search provides quality visibility in waters with varying visibility.

By speeding up search and recovery operations, teams are able to save money and time.



The portability and durability of the drones allow teams to make the most of their vehicle’s versatility. Lang has managed to get creative with his ROV to retrieve sunken vehicles.

On February 1, on Crawford Pond in Warren, Maine, two quad riders unfortunately drove into open water in a dangerous area. Safely and efficiently rescued by the Knox County Sheriff’s Department and the Maine Warden Service, both riders were unharmed, but the quads were lost underwater.

Covering an area of 2.4 square kilometres with a maximum depth of 19 metres, Crawford Pond is a difficult place to find a sunken quad bike. Police had a flat-bottomed dinghy to retrieve the quad, but actually finding the sunken vehicle would require more than that.


Instead of sending in a diver in dangerous conditions to confirm the vehicle’s location, the team opted to send in the DTG3. Using the underwater robot’s 4k camera, Lang was able to locate the quad within half an hour.

After the location of the quad was confirmed by the underwater drone, the DTG3 was used to tie a tow rope to the sunken vehicle so that it could be pulled out of the water. Without the ROV, the time and resources required to actually locate the quad would have been much greater.



The machine was fantastic, I love my machine and I got a great price for it. The support is out of this world,” Lang shared, a sentiment echoed by Seagroves. “Our ROV has paid for itself on initial recovery,” Seagroves said.

“It’s not just our operations, it’s more of a regional asset for the state of North Carolina. It has sped up the process by which we find evidence, it has increased the safety factor because we don’t have to have as many divers in the water as before. When you can use something mechanical or electronic to make it safer for our responders, it’s definitely a great asset to what we’re trying to do,” Seagroves shared.

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