PrismTech has announced that its Vortex OpenSplice product has been selected by the DexROV project for dexterous undersea operations with Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV). Part of the long-term EC Horizon 2020 Blue Growth strategy to support sustainable growth in the European marine and maritime sectors DexROV brings together seven different organisations from all over Europe to challenge what is possible in the realms of undersea operations.
DexROV is using and evaluating new technologies to allow safer, more cost-effective undersea operations with ROVs. DexROV will greatly reduce the costs, hazards, and number of offshore personnel needed in underwater operations in the fields of energy, communications infrastructure, science, archaeology, and shipwreck recovery by enabling delocalised supervision for deep-sea inspection and maintenance work.
The goals of the project are to: move control of ROVs to shore, from a safe distance; overcome the latency involved between onshore control centres and ROVs through autonomous operations; and develop advanced dexterous tools with the capacity to grip and manipulate in ways similar to a human hand.
The main challenges of the project include: undersea perception and modeling; navigation and manipulation control; deep water capable dexterous manipulators; far distance teleoperation; and haptic user interfaces.
PrismTech’s Vortex OpenSplice is the leading commercial and open source implementation of the Object Management Group's (OMG) Data-Distribution Service (DDS) standard.
DexROV has selected PrismTech’s Vortex OpenSplice DDS implementation for the project because of its rich set of Qualities of Service (QoS). Vortex OpenSplice is robust to disruptions allowing very low bandwidth network connectivity information sharing between the ROV, satellite and piloting centres.
Shashank Govindaraj, Robotics Software Engineer, Space Applications Services NV/SA, said: “PrismTech’s Vortex Innovator Program has allowed us to use Vortex OpenSplice on our project. We have been very satisfied with the low latency communications and QoS that Vortex OpenSplice has been able to deliver to the project.”
The outcomes of the project will be demonstrated in a series of test campaigns culminating in a 1,300m deep representative trial in the Mediterranean Sea.