Innovation
The ROV has the ability to reach a depth of 200 metres and a speed of 4 knots.

In what is a boost to shipping, and oil and gas companies in India, Planys Technologies, a company incubated by IIT Madras alumni and faculty, has launched its second underwater robot on Friday called "Beluga". 

Speaking at the launch of the Remotely Operated Vehicle “Beluga”, Tanuj Jhunjunwala, co-founder and CEO of Planys Technologies, “Planys seeks to disrupt the way underwater inspections are performed in India and neighbourhood. Beluga has been specifically designed for the Oil and Gas and Shipping sector, but the platform is versatile to benefit numerous allied sectors,” he said.

The robot is expected to revolutionise services to ports, shipping companies, oil & gas companies, dams and power plants as it provides underwater inspection solutions that is portable, cost-effective and customizable. While manual inspections are dictated by the vagaries of the sea conditions, wave and current actions, Beluga, its makers say, is more efficient and accurate and not constrained by the other factors. 

Equipped with an HD camera and 20x optical zoom, "Beluga" helps capture underwater images. The ROV has the ability to reach a depth of 200 metres and a speed of 4 knots.

That is not all. The ROV can also be used for various acoustic surveys like side-scan survey for sea-bed mapping and environmental surveys.

The name "Beluga" comes from the Beluga whale, as the mammal relies on sound production and reception to navigate and communicate.

How does it function? “The design is compact and portable. It weighs about 50 kgs and requires four to five crew members. The crew is required to manage the cables and a pilot is needed to supervise the working. Several screens and control panels are attached,” said Vineet Upadhyay, Chief Technology Officer, Planys Technology. 

The company plans to bring in a miniature version of Beluga in the next six months.