iXblue has launched FlipiX, a remotely operated towed vehicle (ROTV) designed to be operated autonomously either from the company’s DriX USV (unmanned surface vessel) or from a small boat. FlipiX enhances autonomous survey capabilities and provides the ability to conduct multi-sensor operations in a single run for enhanced operational efficiency.
Featuring advanced motion control and a reduced operational footprint, FlipiX is an ideal platform for deploying Side Scan Sonars (SSS) and magnetometers. With towing speeds of up to 7 knots, the vehicle’s altitude, pitch and roll are autonomously controlled to maintain the position and attitude of the attached measuring instruments. This active motion control provides the ROTV with increased stability and maneuverability even during U-turns, resulting in reduced survey time and enhanced measurement quality even in challenging maritime environments.
When combined with the DriX USV, the standard version of FlipiX can operate at depths of up to 50 meters, and provides optimal positioning of measurement instruments for data acquisition as close to the seabed as needed.
Stéphane Vannuffelen, Marine Autonomy Technical Director at iXblue, commented: “As a key actor in the maritime industry and a pioneer in the field of autonomy, iXblue has the ambition to support the industry in its transition towards autonomous operations, and FlipiX does just that. Leveraging our unique expertise in navigation, robotics and shipbuilding, and benefitting from our extensive return on experience deploying our DriX USV on major projects for energy companies and hydrographic institute worldwide, we are committed to offering operators a more comprehensive ecosystem for autonomous surveying. We’re convinced that our FlipiX ROTV combined with our DriX USV will bring high efficiency and cost-effectiveness to the industry. It has already gathered a strong interest from major actors within the industry, confirming the strong relevance of our new autonomous solution.”