Robotics/unmanned systems

Greensea Demonstrates Untethered Autonomous Operation of ROV

The company’s edge software allowed the remotely operated vehicle to operate autonomously without being tethered to a surface ship.

Greensea installed its Opensea Edge software on a Defender ROV.
Source: Greensea

Marine robotics software company Greensea Systems recently demonstrated untethered autonomous operation of commercially available remotely operated vehicles (ROVs).

Using the Defender ROV from VideoRay, outfitted with batteries, an acoustic modem, and the new Opensea Edge system, Greensea successfully demonstrated untethered operation of an ROV at sea.

Opensea Edge puts processing power on the robot, where it can work directly with sensors to process data onboard, eliminating the need for a tether to a topside computer. This dual, parallel Nvidia edge platform runs Greensea’s open architecture software, Opensea, and handles the sonar and video perception feeds while providing autonomy, navigation, communications, and task management for the robot.

“Eliminating the tether, surface ship, and onsite operator from ROV operations presents the opportunity for the industry to realize a new era of working in the ocean,” said Ben Kinnaman, Greensea’s CEO. “In this concept, our reach into the ocean is infinite and presence persistent. This demonstration shows that it is possible, affordable, and enabling.”

With the need to send data to a topside computer eliminated, data could reside on the vehicle, with only the most crucial pieces of information being sent for human supervision. Reducing the amount and frequency of data being transmitted means that a lower-bandwidth/higher-latency communication method, such as acoustic modems, could be used.

During recent operations conducted at sea, Greensea was able to demonstrate that a VideoRay Defender outfitted with Opensea Edge was able to search, classify, map, and inspect while being untethered. Operators supervised the autonomous ROV through a user interface.