Videoray - News - March 23, 2005
Underwater Robot Collides
with Propeller During Homeland Security Mission
Inspecting Oil Tanker
compelling reasons for not putting divers at risk
A US Government Agency was doing a routine inspection
of an oil tanker last week when conditions caused
their underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV)
to collide with the propeller on their boat. The
impact was sufficiently severe that one of the
light domes on the VideoRay ROV was completely
Had circumstances been different and a human
diver had been in the water, the results of this
kind of accident would be quite tragic. However,
despite the severity of the collision, the $20,000
ROV suffered comparatively little damage.
Scott Bentley, the president of VideoRay LLC,
commented, "Obviously, things went wrong
for a VideoRay to get caught in a prop. However,
the operators did the right thing after the accident
occurred, immediately powering down the unit and
rinsing off the flooded interior. None of the
cameras or electronics were damaged - and we returned
the unit to them one day after we received it
for repair. Since the unit involved was purchased
with our 'Comprehensive Support and Maintenance'
plan, which covers damage from accidents during
operations, there was no cost to the agency. In
fact, had they requested it, we would have given
them a loaner during the few days they were without
a unit." VideoRay LLC designed and manufactured
the unit, and won the contract to provide this
unit and 4 others along with training and support.
The important lesson from this incident is the
fact that putting VideoRays at risk when the job
needs to be done is acceptable – even desirable.
This VideoRay suffered perhaps the worst fate
imaginable – sucked into a high powered
prop. However, since the operators did the right
thing after the accident, VideoRay was able to
do the repairs at a retail cost of less than $2000.
And the cost to the user – including shipping
and incidental costs – was zero.
Information on the incident, plus pictures of
the unit, can be found on www.rovinfo.com