Reach Robotics has launched the Reach X Advanced Intervention System, providing a step-change in underwater manipulator technology for portable Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs).
Reach Robotics has been working with allied militaries to help develop the future of expeditionary intervention. The Reach X, a power-dense, compact manipulator, will revolutionize subsea operations by enabling portable ROVs to carry out tasks previously reserved for human divers.
With the rapid miniaturization of technology in the past decade, portable ROVs have burst onto the scene offering advanced navigation and sensing capabilities in a one- or two-person deployable package.
However, their ability to intervene has always been limited and so human divers are still needed to complete tasks such as manipulating, cutting, or untangling a line, attaching a hook, or retrieving and placing objects in precise locations.
The problem is that existing robotic arm systems either lack dexterity or are too bulky and heavy to provide a useful capability to military operators. Further, the control systems are often primitive or complex and uncomfortable; control systems that aren’t intuitive fall out of favour and consequently use by operators. This renders a significant robotics investment wasted.
Five years of collaboration with US and Australian DoD operators has provided the insight Reach Robotics needed to address these shortfalls through the release of the Reach X.
Making underwater robotic arms presents challenges. Within the design of any Reach Robotics product resides the lessons learnt and expertise gained from seven years of innovation and real-world deployments in the Defence and Offshore Energy sectors.
The Reach X is a new manipulator, but it draws on the track record of manufacturing excellence that comes from building, testing, and shipping almost 1000 systems to date.
Reach Robotics is proud to launch the Reach X Advanced Intervention System and excited to work with existing and new clients as they push the boundaries of what’s possible with remote intervention in 2024.
“In 2023, human divers still have to go into harm’s way to deal with a variety of underwater threats. That’s a problem. Reach Robotics has the power to be part of the solution, and so we created the Reach X to provide a useful step-change in capability to the Clearance Diver and Mine Warfare community,” said Anders Ridley-Smith, Director of Business Development at Reach Robotics.