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Explorer
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hope you don’t mind me asking for your opinion.

We are a small group of engineers that have developed various hardware for several oceanographic expeditions. We’ve been thinking about making a smaller, affordable ROV (remotely operated vehicle) for use by a wider circle of enthusiasts, and we are about a year away from completing development.

My questions is whether in your opinion the yachting community will be interested in such a product. Should we bother advertising to yacht owners one day?

The robot will be easy-to-use, able explore down to 200-300m depth and record HD video. Retail cost should be around $4k – this is above the hobby OpenROV you may have heard of, but much cheaper than existing industrial market leaders, whose specifications we’ll match or exceed. The idea is to put serious technology in a user-friendly package. Thanks!
 

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Sailor
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That's pretty steep price. True, cheaper than industrial but higher than an individual boater's wallet, in my opinion. You might market it to clubs or organizations.


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I hope you don't mind me asking for your opinion.

We are a small group of engineers that have developed various hardware for several oceanographic expeditions. We've been thinking about making a smaller, affordable ROV (remotely operated vehicle) for use by a wider circle of enthusiasts, and we are about a year away from completing development.

My questions is whether in your opinion the yachting community will be interested in such a product. Should we bother advertising to yacht owners one day?

The robot will be easy-to-use, able explore down to 200-300m depth and record HD video. Retail cost should be around $4k - this is above the hobby OpenROV you may have heard of, but much cheaper than existing industrial market leaders, whose specifications we'll match or exceed. The idea is to put serious technology in a user-friendly package. Thanks!
There might bean interest in the SCUBA community especially in the First Responders side and possibly the 'Overhead' technical divers(wreck/cave) where the rebreather crowd spends 10 grand or more on their CC rebreathers...

Clay
NSS/CDS full cave cert.
 

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Julian,

I think there is a market, but probably a pretty small one. Mega yachts are going to full submarines, and the smaller end of the market like most cruisers are going to be budget and space limited. There is probably a market in the Super Yacht (75'-125' ) range.

Most people on this board would probably be more interested in a cheaper but less robust model. Say 100' depth operating envelope. This would allow us to inspect anchors, look for lost gear, inspect the bottom of the boat, ect. But without the need for a deep diving capability.

The ROV I see as having the best chance for financial success right now would be basically a high speed surface vessel carrying a forward looking sonar and transmitting data collected back to the mother ship. Something like WASSP's system ( http://wassp.com/news-events/wassp-goes-wireless-with-new-remote-mapping-system/ ) but mounted in a large radio controlled boat.

Even better would be if the WASSP system could take inputs from multiple sensors at the same time. This would allow for overlapping sweeps of an entire anchorage to be made relatively quickly. A small boat may carry one, a mega yacht might carry a fleet of them. But either way when entering unmarked anchorages a complete bottom profile could be generated by the mothership relatively quickly.
 

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If it can be used to clean the bottom off, perhaps there is a market? I don't really understand what you are looking for. This is a forum of sailors, and generally really cheap sailors. Heck one of our biggest threads here is how to cruse on $500 a month for all your living and boating expenses combined. That would bring your product to an 8 month budget! Sounds like a fun toy, but I think you may find a limited audience here, though we did have a few topics about quadracoptors.
 

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Explorer
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you for the comments. Sounds like an ROV isn’t going to fly off the shelves with the sailors here (have to work on the price for miatapaul), but possibly may interest super yacht owners. Wish I knew any of them! It really depends on how much a person is interested in wrecks, sea life, video/photography, or inspection and recovery, plus crucially how deep their pockets are.

UnionPacific, it’d be a Sealion with the price tag of the TOV. And definitely better looking!

Greg, the WASSP system is interesting, thanks a lot for sharing.

Clay, agree about scuba. Have you used an ROV when diving yourself?
 

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Finding the market isn't that hard really. Super yachts are easy to sell too. You show up at the Boat Shows and demonstrate them to people worth a couple hundred million bucks, and they impulse buy them. Word gets around and you sell a couple hundred...

The bigger market I see for your original ROV would be light commercial work - mooring field operators for in the water inspections, pile drivers, dock builders, cable layers, bridge inspections, ect. Where an in the water camera would be nice without the need to get a diver wet. Again depth isn't critical here, but the ability to rapidly deploy a smaller ROV for visual inspections is.

Looking at wrecks is fun on scuba, I am not sure what the draw would be for ROV viewing.
 

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I think sailors would be more interested in a quadcopter that was capable of changing the lightbulbs at the top of the mast. Literally.

You might find that the folks who are into beachcombing and metal-detecting would have a blast with a real ROV at the price range, but sailors? Usually don't look "down" except to make sure they're not going to hit anything.
 
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