Featured Customer: Enrique Enriquez
As an avid photographer and a long-time certified diver, Enrique Enriquez, President of SWL Robotics set out to create the world's first 360-degree marine grade ROV. An ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) is an unoccupied tethered mobile underwater device commonly used in the deep-water industries exploring barrier reefs, or the hulls of ships. Enrique's family used to own a drone company in the early 2000s and in 2009 they came up with the idea to create an underwater drone for people to enjoy the wonders of the ocean in a far more immersive way than with a standard ROV.
“What I enjoy most about this craft is that no matter where you are located once you put on the VR goggles it feels as though you are diving at the location where the ROV is at. It doesn't matter if you are thousands of miles from the ROV or not, once you view the video you are at the reef or wreck.”
The unique spherical design of this 360-degree ROV was completely engineered from the ground up to incorporate eight HD cameras working in sync to provide the user with live "stitched" video feed of its underwater missions. Using a VR headset, the pilot of the ROV can simply look around, and feel as though he or she has been transported directly to the ROV's location. To light up the depths of the ocean the ROV generates 37,000 lumens of cool, warm, and UV light.
The creation of the spherical design of this ROV began with the tooling molds which were comprised of fiberglass and orange tooling gel coat. Once the mold was polished and prepped for molding, the spherical outer shell was created using a proprietary reinforcement schedule including yellow color gel coat, and 3K, 2x2 Twill Weave Carbon Fiber Fabric.
Holding all of the lights, cameras, computers, and the propellers for the ROV is the internal framework which was made out of carbon fiber and epoxy resin to create the lightest and strongest parts possible. The internal framework, handles, and protective light shields were all created using vacuum infusion. Enrique expertly used #1405 Red LDPE Infusion Flow Media when creating these parts as it is ideal for smaller composite parts. Keep up the great work Enrique!