The AC-ROV is a full five degrees of freedom underwater video camera and sensor platform. This manoeuvrability is essential as other underwater inspection vehicles do not have the mobility to work in confined spaces.
4 horizontal thrusters operate together to power the AC-ROV forward, back and sideways. Their “vectored” arrangement is like having 4 forward and 4 side, or lateral thrusters. This is the thruster set up on the vast majority of serious commercial ROVs because lateral power and speed is as important as forward power and speed. One is used to get you to the target, the other is for keeping you face onto the target. More often than not any current at a target will not be head-on, but SIDE-ON, so serious inspection requires serious lateral flight capability. This is why the AC-ROV can fly as fast sideways as it can forward and back, or more importantly, hold station in a given current coming from any direction. There are also 2 vertical thrusters for up, down and tilt control.
To make the most of the AC-ROV’s manoeuvrability, the system uses a completely intuitive 3D controller with a single handed grip that can be moved in any direction, rotated and tilted. The AC-ROV responds by moving in the same way that the grip is moved. Controlling more movements than any single-handed joystick, it is still easier to use, simply because it doesn’t require brain power. The controller incorporates an array of powerful flight assist functions:
Flight Freeze / Flight Un-freeze / Progressive Forward Flight, Vertical Trim and Tilt / 3 stage Power Increment / Camera switching.