5 Reasons Why Blueye Drones Are Easy-to-Use

Friday, January 29, 2021 / The Blueye Office

The phrase ‘easy-to-use’ is suffering inflation in the market of underwater drones. Whatever company or sales rep you talk to will state that their technology is the most user-friendly out there. We want to challenge the statement and back up the claim. It is time to dive deeper and show you the top five reasons why the Blueye drones are rightfully called easy-to-use.

1. DESIGN

The unique design of the Blueye drone plays a key factor in enabling intuitive maneuverability while also delivering high-quality footage. It's a crucial part of what truly enables the intuitiveness of our drone.

Self-stabilizing

If you have researched the underwater drone market, chances are you have seen the Blueye drone and noticed its unique shape. The vertical shape makes the drone more stable because the center of gravity and center of buoyancy are farther apart. This means increased stability when maneuvering and while recording under water. Where other ROVs might let you control more degrees of freedom, the shape of the Blueye vehicle helps it stay in a stable position even in currents and with external forces on the tether. In addition, damping fins were added to reduce roll oscillations from the waves, giving steady and smooth motions in the video feed.

The Blueye Pro drone inspection pipes along the seabed. Photo: Blueye Robotics

Reliable and robust

We know that many of our customers work in rough environments and need equipment that can handle harsh conditions. With Blueye being based near the Norwegian coast, we can thoroughly test our prototypes in authentic climate to make sure they are built to handle ocean conditions with challenging weather.

We work in challenging weather at times, and while that may limit the use of industrial ROVs, the Blueye drone is able to hold a steady position while inspecting. - Morten Nystad, Nordlaks

2. SOFTWARE

The Blueye Apps

We have designed the drone system to be controlled from the Blueye App installed on your smart device. This allows for great flexibility and ensures that you always have access to the latest software features. There is no need for additional programs or equipment that typically requires external power. You control the drone simply by connecting the mobile device to the gaming controller via Bluetooth, and to the drone via Wi-Fi. You can also use the touch controls on the screen. By using the Blueye Observer App, you can easily connect several devices to the drone Wi-Fi, and view the live video on multiple screens.

Intuitive control

Our tech team has created an advanced control system that makes it easy for you to pilot the drone. The Blueye system lets you connect almost any kind of Bluetooth controller to the drone. Instead of spending time learning the layout of advanced controllers, a regular gaming controller can do the same job but is more intuitive to use. Features like auto-depth and auto-heading were created to help you keep 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.

I had to hand the controller over to a random deck crew member on the oilrig. Since I have trust in the control system, I knew that he would quickly pick-up on how to control the drone and keep it in place, even though it was a live drilling operation. - Andreas Viggen, Blueye Engineer

Team conducting a vessel inspection controlling the drone via the Blueye App on a mobile device. Photo: Blueye Robotics

Continuous feature updates

To make sure you always have the best possible inspection tool at hand, we make new features available to all Blueye customers through our apps. Two examples of this are the newly launched live-streaming and reporting features. With the live-streaming feature, the pilot can share live drone footage directly in a Microsoft Teams meeting. Anyone can join in to view the inspection in real-time and collaborate remotely. Capturing and processing the relevant information are also crucial steps in the inspection process. That is why we have made it easy to create a professional dive report directly in the Blueye App. Within minutes you have a customized report (PDF/Word) ready to share with your colleagues from your smart device.

Control the drone or observe the inspection on any device. Photo: Blueye Robotics

3. HANDLING

Portability

Underwater inspectors work in various locations and often travel alone. When developing the drone, we have always had in mind that it should be easy to transport. The Blueye drone only weighs 9 kg, making it easy for one person to handle while traveling. We also provide a custom-fitted Zarges aluminum case with wheels that can keep the drone and basic equipment safe when traveling. We believe that it is essential for our customers to be able to start using the equipment as soon as they receive it. You don't have to be a certified ROV-pilot to handle the drone, anyone can use it. It only takes minutes to connect and deploy the drone, which makes it a great tool for everyday tasks and operations.

The drone is easy to bring on assignments. We can perform efficient inspections with reduced risk to human health and safety. - Frank Ellingsen, OceanFront

Man carrying blueye drone on assignment
Portable and light for one person to handle while traveling. Photo: Blueye Robotics

Self-serviceable

Underwater equipment downtime is usually very high due to the harsh underwater environment and rough handling on deck. We wanted to change this. The robust design and high-quality materials ensure great reliability with minimal need of maintenance. The only maintenance needed after use is a light rinse in fresh water and charge of batteries. We also wanted to reduce the time spent when you do need service. All parts prone to wear are self-serviceable, and you can easily replace them yourself. The battery can also be replaced while out in the field to enhance the operation time.

4. QUALITY

Another part of making a product easy-to-use is ensuring that the quality meets your requirements and expectations. You shouldn't have to worry about the product breaking down or require high maintenance. Our underwater drones are made to last and will do so because of their high quality. This can be noticed thought-out the whole Blueye product line. Not just in the material and exterior parts, but equally as evident in the electronics, software, and support. If you have trust in the quality of your tools, you can focus on the task at hand and carry it out with greater ease.

Prototypes

We have always been consistent and precise with testing prototypes in real surroundings and situations. Our engineers usually perform tests out on the Blueye boat every week to get the full user experience, including transport, set-up and connect, controlling, and post-processing.

We've spent thousands of hours testing the drone. Every time we find something that is annoying or doesn't work the way we want, we go back and change it to make it easier for our users. - Borja Serra, Blueye Engineer

Blueye engineers, Rune and Borja, testing equipment prototypes. Photo: Blueye Robotics

5. SUPPORT

The team

No product is guaranteed never to have any issues. But, if you ever do find yourself in need of support, our team is always available. The team consisting of dedicated engineers and industry experts, many of whom have worked in Blueye since the beginning. You will receive a reply within 24 hours of reaching out. With an overall satisfaction rating of 98%, we take great pride in our customers' success.

Very professional and immediate service got us back up and running with minimal downtime. - Blueye Customer

The Blueye Help Center

We have also built the Blueye Help Center, where you can find articles, FAQs, video tutorials, and illustrated guides to help you perform self-service and solve issues independently. We believe in working proactively versus reactively as part of building an easy-to-use solution.

Blueye Support Video Tutorial screenshot
Screenshot from Blueye Support Video Tutorial on Vertical thruster replacement. Photo: Blueye Robotics

THE TOTAL USER-EXPERIENCE

In our case, 'easy-to-use' holds a broad meaning, not only referring to the actual handling of the drone but the whole user-experience. You should be able to work frictionless from start to end; From purchasing to handling to maintaining. That is why we put all our efforts into every step of the customer journey so that you can get the best and most easy-to-use underwater drone in the market.


This article is based on the popular Blueye Webinar «What makes an underwater drone easy-to-use?», available to watch on-demand.

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