The Norwegian Blueye underwater inspection drone is a next-generation drone that can be operated from a smart phone with limited training
In an ideal world, every ship would have a trained diver on board to inspect intakes when the ballast water treatment system fails or to check for leaks from the stern tube.
But divers are expensive and require constant training and certification, and there is always the risk associated with having a human being in the water in a busy port or in currents.
The Blueye drone is designed to be an eye in the water, able to deliver high-quality images from the underside of the vessel’s hull. The images are delivered to a smart phone or laptop, which also controls the drone underwater.
The Blueye drone has a unique vertical shape making the drone more stable because the centre of gravity and centre of buoyancy are farther apart giving increased stability when manoeuvring and while recording under water.
The Blueye vehicle helps it stay in a stable position even in currents and with external forces on the tether. In addition, damping fins reduce roll oscillations from the waves, giving steady and smooth motions in the video feed.
The drone is controlled from the Blueye App installed on a smart phone by connecting the mobile device to the gaming controller via Bluetooth, and to the drone via wifi.
The Blueye Observer App connects several devices to the drone wifi, and allows the live video to be viewed on multiple screens.
With the live-streaming feature, the pilot can share live drone footage directly in a Microsoft Teams meeting, and the app can create dive reports in PDF or Word format.
The regular gaming controller is intuitive for many users and the drone features auto-depth and auto-heading to maintain a stable heading and depth while diving. The automatic controls also make it easy to dive in a straight line without manually compensating for currents and drag in the tether.
Riviera Maritime Media’s Ballast Water Webinar Week is being held 22 June 2021 – use this link for more details and to register