Voyis Imaging Inc. (Voyis) is a pioneer in subsea optical inspection technologies, dedicated to pushing the limits of the field to endlessly advance our customers’ ability to perceive the ocean depths. Our team’s expertise and commitment to deeply understanding our customers’ challenges, both the scientific and practical, enables us to develop solutions that address the most complex problems in subsea inspection and vehicle autonomy.
Subsea inspection operations are a challenging task which have historically required specialized knowledge and complex technology. The growth in ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicles) operations have drastically improved underwater situational awareness, but their effectiveness has been hindered by a lack of advancements in their vision systems. Current ROV cameras still only offer two-dimensional data, prioritizing vehicle piloting and situational awareness as the most immediate needs of the operators. However, both piloting and inspection capabilities can be significantly enhanced with a three-dimensional understanding, presenting a new frontier for underwater robotics.
Voyis has recognized this opportunity to advance ROV vision systems and set its goal on creating a vision platform that could capture both low-latency enhanced video for piloting while simultaneously capturing high quality stills images for 3D modelling – a solution that could generate incredible 3D reconstructions without specialized technicians or expensive 3rd party processing. With this goal in mind, Voyis endeavored to solve the historical challenges limiting the widespread adoption of 3D inspection cameras by combining computer vision technology with edge processing to unlock new ROV piloting and inspection capabilities.
Voyis is proud to launch its new product line, Discovery Vision Systems, to address the trade-off that is currently made between Piloting Cameras and 3D Inspection Cameras. Piloting cameras prioritize low latency video at the expense of the image data required for 3D model generation. Conversely, 3D cameras prioritize image data at the expense of piloting effectiveness, limited by a higher latency and smaller field of view. The Discovery is a vision platform without compromise, delivering 4K piloting video together with 3D data.
Voyis offers two versions of the Discovery: The Discovery Camera and the Discovery Stereo.
The Discovery Camera provides small ROV platforms with a compact imaging and lighting payload that streams both 4K low latency piloting video, as well recording crisp stills images for direct 3D modelling. By utilizing a large high-sensitivity sensor and wide-angle lens, it provides an ultra-wide field of view (130°x130°) for complete situational awareness without needing to tilt the camera. The camera’s 8-megapixel sensor with resolution-matched optics achieves true 4K video quality, along with lossless sensor zoom. The synchronized high-power Nova Mini lights provide an industry-leading 125,000 lumens of even illumination, increasing the operating range and feature detection capabilities of the vision system. Edge computing corrects visual inaccuracies in real-time and uses high dynamic range information to correct lighting that enables the stills images to be directly used for 3D modelling.
The Discovery Stereo brings true depth perception and real-time 3D modeling to ROV platforms operating at up to 4000m depth. It maintains a wide field of view (75°x75°) and low latency for the piloting video stream, while onboard computing instantaneously calculates 3D depth maps for measurements and coverage monitoring. These depth maps are 3D point clouds calculated from feature matches between a pair of images at a single point in time, which can be displayed in a real-time rotatable video stream to observe the changing 3D scene and allow the pilot to monitor the vehicle’s position relative to the target. This depth perception has the potential to enable autonomous capabilities on newer robotic platforms, like manipulator automation or station keeping without seabed bottom-lock.
Both product versions come integrated with Nova Mini lights, as well as direct support of DDS (Data Distribution Service) and ROS2 (Robot Operating System). Support of these new robotics standards drastically simplifies vehicle integration and autonomy, while also improving system reliability.
The Discovery product line delivers a new level of situational awareness to ROV operations, achieving both high resolution video and real-time 3D perception for piloting, inspection, and autonomy applications. It is now possible for every subsea vehicle to see the depths like we see the surface.
“Voyis continues to lead innovation that enhances capability in underwater exploration and inspection applications. The Discovery Vision Systems represent a significant leap forward in the performance of ROV vision systems, delivering simultaneous 4K video and 3D data streams. We believe this system will become the standard platform for underwater machine vision and autonomy, helping to advance a revolution in subsea robotics. – Chris Gilson, CEO “
Voyis, founded in 2007, is the first company to widely provide underwater optical sensors for subsea surveys and inspection. Voyis focuses on providing versatile solutions that expand customers’ underwater capabilities and help enhance understanding of remote or challenging environments by producing the best data possible. www.voyis.com