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OpenROV’s Trident Redefining ROV Systems And Their Uses

OpenROV is an open-source business, which aims to bring together people and technology to make the oceans more accessible to people and to scientific exploration. Their new Trident Remotely Operated Vehicle is the culmination of years of work, and is the revolutionary product that is poised to make it all happen.

The Trident is different from all other ROVs in that the designers set out to make this ROV streamlined, maneuverable and quick in the water. It has near-neutral buoyancy and can move slowly and maneuver like other ROVs, but its streamlined, foil-like shape can quickly slice through the water at high speeds with the vehicle maneuvering more like an aircraft. Speeds of around 4 to 5 knots are typical with the Trident, but virtually unheard of with previous ROV systems.

Furthermore, the Trident is a personal-use ROV and has a price tag compatible with that goal. This is not a $100K system, or even a $10K system. The Trident has a retail price starting at US$1,499/1,415 Euros for the basic model with a 25-meter/82-foot-long tether and up to $1,949/1,849 Euros with a custom hard case to carry the ROV and an extra-long 100-meter/328-foot tether. Early buyers can get their Trident reserved for even less.

OpenROV's Trident with its tether
OpenROV’s Trident with its tether

OpenROV has already taken nearly a thousand pre-orders for the Trident, and the orders continue to accumulate. Upon completion of initial orders, the Trident will become the most common ROV fielded.

In addition to taking video, the Trident collects metadata such as date and time, geo-coordinates, depth as well as temperature data during each dive, every time it is used. This data will upload to OpenROV’s cloud server to start compiling data on the oceans for future research and use. With as many Trident ROVs as have already been preordered, OpenROV is likely set to build the largest integrated network of oceanic data-collection assets the world has seen. Deliveries are expected in March or April of 2017.

Trident will capture 1080p high definition video at 60 frames per second and send it to your computer, tablet, or even a cell phone (anything that can run Google Chrome). It can operate at depths of up to 100 meters/328 feet and it is equipped with two banks of LED lights for low-light conditions or just to better fill in some color on close-range video.

In addition, the designers have included hard points for mounting additional lighting or other hardware. A nine-axis gyro, compass and depth sensor provide sensory feedback to assist the ROV pilot to fly and navigate the Trident underwater.

Trident controller (and yup, it's exactly what you think it is)
Trident controller (and yup, it’s exactly what you think it is)

So, who will have a use for Trident? In addition to the traditional ROV market (marine researchers, commercial operators and inspectors, etc), citizen scientists, explorers and many divers will have uses for this new asset as well. Freedivers may use it to follow divers in CWT competitions. With a 100-meter depth range, a Trident and a bottom camera could completely cover even the deepest dives.

A dive master could use the Trident to follow and keep track of divers diving from a boat, or use it to make sure that the boat is on the right dive sight or check that the anchor is secure. If a diver has family members that do not dive, the Trident can provide a method for sharing the dive with them and allowing them to participate in the dive in a real-time and interactive way. For many boaters, the Trident could be a relatively inexpensive stepping-stone for non-divers to have that eye in the sea and could actually get them interested in becoming divers.

It will be exciting to follow this new product’s development and even more exciting to become an owner-operator of it. Follow the action and learn more about this exciting new ROV technology at www.openrov.com.

Ron Smith
Ron Smithhttp://www.smithaerospace.us
Ron Smith developed the DOL-Fin hydrofoil type monofin products, and used his DOL-Fin Orca to set a US dynamic record in 2012. Ron is an award winning aerospace engineer and inventor, specializing in fluid dynamics, control systems design, simulation development and system performance prediction. He has been using his engineering background to develop new diving technology to make make the oceans more accessible for exploration.


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