Frequently Asked Questions
Ask our experts
Meet our DT Experts in training as they answer your questions about Deep Trekker robots, features and more!
About Deep Trekker
Deep Trekker was incorporated in 2010. Watch our 10 year video to.
The Deep Trekker headquarters are located in Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada. In addition to being the technology hub of Canada, Waterloo is only about an hour to many of the Great Lakes. Deep Trekker also has a sales and service office in Puerto Montt, Chile, the aquaculture hub of South America, along with many reseller partners throughout the world.
Deep Trekker holds two patents and has two additional patents pending. Our first patent is the DTG3's pitch system which enables the ROV unmatched flexibility by rotating the outer body around to achieve 360 degree motion with just two thrusters. Our second patent is the DT640's magnetic wheels which allow the vehicle to drive along ferrous surfaces.
Deep Trekker's patent pending designs include the rotating REVOLUTION ROV camera head and the DT300 series active free wheel retrieval mode. The REVOLUTION ROV rotating camera head enables camera, sonar, grabber and other tools the flexibility to face any direction within its 260 degree range while the active free wheel retrieval mode on our DT300 series pipe crawlers make remote retrievals easier.
We are proud to say our products are made in Canada! Each and every Deep Trekker robot is designed and built at our headquarters in Ontario, Canada by our team of skilled engineers and technologists. Every submersible undergoes a rigorous product delivery inspection and in-water pressure testing before we ship to our customers.
Each Deep Trekker robot comes standard with a 12 month warranty that covers parts, labor and freight cost for the repair to be made. Our technical support team is available between 9am and 9pm EST from Monday to Friday and between 10am and 6pm EST on Saturdays and Sundays to answer any questions you may have, from operations to technical issues.
For operational questions, we also have a thorough manual and an extensive training video library to help answer your questions and get you more comfortable with your systems. If you do require a repair and prefer to refrain from shipping back your vehicle, we often can send you parts and work with you to repair the system over the phone or through video call services.
Absolutely! Every unit comes with our one-year warranty and some packages come with extended warranties included in the sale price. Check out our DT Advantage Program for other warranties offered.
A tether is required for a robot that enters a pipe or goes underwater and provides live video, sensor feedback and controls. These signals cannot be transmitted through the ground or underwater effectively, the technology simply does not exist! Our tethers can be extended to be up to 800m (2,624'), are flexible and lightweight yet durable and strong (300-1000 lbs breakstrength). This allows you to get where you need to go for most missions. Looking to travel further than that? Contact us and we likely know a robot that will work for you!
Many of Deep Trekker's accessories are modular for our robotics. These options often can be shipped to you to be utilized with your vehicle after you have already purchased and taken possession of the vehicle. If an option cannot be shipped to you to be added, it can be added at our facility at no extra labour costs.
We have worked with many customers who have their own sensors, cameras, tools and technology that they wish to adapt for use on a Deep Trekker robot. We are more than happy to assist you in mounting it. If your customization has special requirements, contact us today to discuss the best options for getting it installed.
Deep Trekker robotics are very unique in that they do not require ongoing maintenance schedules. Many robotic vehicles require regular oiling, greasing, nitrogen gas refills and parts replacements in order to maintain water tight integrity. Due to magnetically coupled drives on our thruster and wheel assemblies, our systems do not require these tedious methods of maintenance. Magnets do not wear down over time, so our robots outlast other designs giving you a robot you can rely on each time you call on it for a mission. We do however recommend that users rinse vehicles with fresh water after salt water dives and keep the batteries charged if the vehicle has not operated for more than 4-6 months.
About the ROVs
Deep Trekker ROVs record high definition videos and 8 megapixel photos to a SD card that is onboard the handheld controller. The handheld controller also has HDMI, Ethernet and USB outputs that can be used to display the video on larger monitors, on laptops and to livestream the footage. Footage can be live streamed through internet-connected devices utilizing broadcast software (many options available!).
The DTG3 ROV is depth rated to 200m (656') and the REVOLUTION is depth rated to 305m (1,000'). Each system that we sell is tested to the depth that it is rated for in our pressure tanks.
It is die-cast aluminum anodized and powder coated for extreme durability in salt and fresh water. If you are diving in salt water, it’s always good to give it a fresh water rinse afterwards.
What is the Deep Trekker Patented Pitching System? There is a reason our ROVs are spherical, we use an internal semi-circle frame to mount the batteries and electronics for the ROV, which is connected to the outer shell. When the ROV is in water, gravity holds down the internal semi-circle weighted frame, we activate a servo motor, and the outer shell with our main thrusters can rotate a complete 180 degrees. This is what our patented pitching system does, and provides unmatched maneuverability to pilot the ROV into confined spaces. The camera is mounted independently, so you are able to rotate 270 degrees no matter what direction the ROV is going.
We have designed a completely portable system, by putting lithium ion batteries inside the ROV and controller. With batteries on-board, there is no power going down the tether, reducing the diameter and potential drag or need to bring along a generator to your dive site.
Deep Trekker ROVs and controllers last for up to 8 hours on a single charge. Controllers can be plugged in during operation to extend their operating time by several hours.
REVOLUTION batteries are swappable so you are able to have a spare set charged to keep you operating throughout the mission. We also offer a topside power module if you wish to use the REVOLUTION continuously and power it from a 110-240 VAC power source at the surface.
Our ROVs have a full colour 700 HD camera, designed for low light with 0.001 lux. The camera rotates around the entire body of the ROV 270 degrees. Allowing you to look up, down, behind as you drive the ROV. You may also upgrade the internal camera to Full HD recording.
The ROV cameras will see as well as a human eye underwater. If the water is extremely murky, you will need to rely on other means to navigate and perform the inspection. Sensors for heading and depth can tell you what direction you are moving through the water, which is helpful to get to a single target; however these sensors do not tell you your position. Acoustic technology such as USBL Positioning can tell you where you are underwater but users will be unable to visualize what is underwater. The best tool for murky water operations are sonars. We highly recommend equipping a sonar to a ROV when operating in murky water, giving you a viable option for performing most inspection and survey tasks. Click here to learn more about how sonars work >.
All Deep Trekker ROVs come equipped with shadowless, dimmable LED floodlights. These lights are highly efficient to minimize the impact on battery life when engaged. We offer additional lighting options for dark, enclosed missions where sunlight cannot reach or for during night time operations. The DTG3 comes standard with 1000 lumens of light and the ability to have up to 5400 lumens. The REVOLUTION comes standard with 8400 lumens of light and can be equipped with up to 11,800 lumens.
The ROV’s handheld controller comes equipped with a 7” LCD display. The high definition and bright display offers a portable yet high quality viewing experience for one operator. There are times however, when you may want a larger monitor to display video to a group of viewers. The handheld controller comes equipped with an HDMI out port, along with Ethernet, SD and USB ports. This allows you the flexibility of connecting to other devices. Alternatively, the ROV records video and photos to an SD card. The SD card can be easily removed and then connected to other devices for viewing.
Simply give the ROV a fresh water rise after a dive in salt water, and keep the batteries charged. Since we have no dynamic seals to grease or parts to replace regularly, there is very little maintenance at all.
This is a common question, however the answer isn’t as simple as just a number or a specification. The answer depends on the application. In general, ROV inspections and surveys can be broken down into two main categories; swimming to a single point or doing a thorough evaluation of an entire area. When swimming to a single location, an ROV is able to take on more current because the flight path it takes to get there does not matter - as long as it gets to the target. There are tools to help guide you, such as USBL Positioning Systems, Imaging Sonars or even Heading and Depth Sensors. The DTG3 ROV can fight through up to 2 knot currents and get to a target, while the Revolution can fight through up to 3 knot currents.
When performing a thorough survey, the DTG3 has Active Yaw Stabilization, Auto Heading and Auto Depth functionality that help it keep its course and stay on a steady path, however without the vectored thrusters that are featured on the Revolution, you are best to perform surveys with the DTG3 at slack tide, in 0.5 knot to 1 knot currents. With its vectored thrusters and greater power, the Revolution is able to fight against current in any direction and perform thorough evaluations in up to 2 knot currents.
It is important to note that the amount of tether deployed makes an impact on the ROVs ability to fight current. The more tether deployed, the more surface area for water to drag the ROV. Deep Trekker’s battery powered ROVs utilize thinner diameter (5mm) tethers than topside powered vehicles - this is beneficial as the drag effect increases exponentially with thicker tethers. The DTG3 is most effective when it has deployed less than 300m of tether. If over 300m, it is best practice to operate in lower currents. The Revolution is very capable with the tether deployed even up to the 800m amount.
The tether has a 150 pound break strength, so there is no problem lifting the ROV by the tether. You can lower and raise the ROV by the tether and retrieve objects with the grabber arm by pulling up on the tether.
Grabbing and lifting objects from underwater is a common application for Deep Trekker ROVs. There are a few different ways that our customers utilize our vehicles to lift objects. First is to grab onto the object and pull up by the tether. The tether break strength is 150 kg (300lbs), which is your limitation for weight when you pull up by the tether. When grabbing onto an object and swimming with it using the ROV, the limitation depends on the dimensions of the object. The DTG3 can lift up to about 2 lbs and the REVOLUTION up to about 8 lbs. The last common method for recovering objects is to hold a carabiner in the grabber and hook or tie the object to a line, using the line to recover the object. The method is typically dictated by the object you are aiming to recover.
Sensors give you an on-screen display of heading, depth, water temperature, pitch, roll, camera angle, and battery levels.
Yes, as long as the accessory is within 40 grams of neutral buoyancy it will not affect the ability of the ROV to maneuver throughout the waters.
Deep Trekker's DTG3 is the most portable option, deploying out of a single case in under 30 seconds. It is ideal for getting eyes underwater quickly and easily, and can support virtually all of the same add ons as our REVOLUTION ROV. The REVOLUTION is best for higher current scenarios or when you wish to utilize many accessories and add ons on the same ROV. The REVOLUTION also has a deeper depth rating, greater stability, lateral movement capability and station holding, higher top speed and more thrust power. Compare the packages more here
Each of our vehicle packages come with a tether between 50 and 400m in length. We are happy to customize any vehicle order for your needs.
For the ROVs, we offer tether lengths of 50m, 75m, 100m, 150m, 200m, 300m, 400m, 500m, 800m. For pipe crawlers, we offer tether lengths of either 200m or 400m. For the DT640, we offer tether lengths of 75m, 100m, 150m, 300m and 400m.
Longer tethers can require larger reels, contact us for a quote and the reel requirement for the length you prefer.
We have taken our ROVs on planes as checked bags many times before! Our customers also regularly travel with our robotics on planes.
Always check with your airline's weight restriction policies before arriving at the airport, as some of our vehicle configurations may be over the weight limit (typically 26-36 kg). If this is the case, we see many customers split the weight between bags or cases.
Our robots also utilize lithium ion batteries, which have undergone rigorous testing procedures. We have the utmost confidence in our battery reliability and have documentation including test reports, UN38.3 MSDS forms and other forms that may be requested at the airport in order for the robots to fly.
About the Pipe Crawlers
The DT340 and DT320 are both extremely portable and easy to operate pipe inspection crawlers. Both are steerable, battery operated and depth rated to 50m (164'). The DT320 is meant for operations in smaller diameter pipes and the DT340 for larger diameters.
Deep Trekker crawlers are very flexible systems, allowing you to record data in whichever format suits the deliverable you plan to give to your customer. For quick, simple inspections, you can plug a small digital video recorder into the handheld controller and record the video files to a SD card. For thorough pipe inspection reports, we integrate with the world's leading software providers, including WinCan. Add a laptop or control console to your operation and you're able to generate complete reports out of a completely portable system.
We offer a variety of wheel options, tether reels and more. Compare the packages further here >
After a complete and thorough product delivery inspection, pressure test, drive test and submerged test, we pack each crawler into rugged Pelican cases and ship them via air freight in most cases. For single systems, there are no skids required as the cases are on wheels and weigh less than 100 lbs.
Our DT320 can fit into as small as a lined or slightly deformed 6" (150mm) pipe and is able to center its camera in up to 12" (300mm) diameter pipes.
The DT340 is ideal for 8" (200mm) and larger pipes. In its smallest configuration, it can fit into lined or slightly deformed 8" (200mm) pipes. With the modular robotic elevating arm, the DT340 can raise its camera head up to the center of a 36" (900mm) diameter pipe.
There are different wheel options for different pipe scenarios. The standard rubber tires are best for general purpose use in concrete or iron pipes. Carbide tires provide more grip in clay or plastic (PVC) pipes. Tracks are best for larger diameter corrugated steel or other large diameter pipes with large amounts of debris like mud, sand, gravel, etc.
The batteries last up to 8 hours and only take 90 minutes to recharge. For customers who want to have longer battery life available to them, they typically will buy a second crawler body to swap out while the other is charging.
About DT640 VAC Utility Crawlers
Both DT640 utility packages are portable, battery operated systems that make water storage tank cleaning easier and safer. They both utilize the same tether and handheld controller. The VAC package is a smaller, more portable option, able to fit through smaller manways. The MAX package is ideal for cleaning larger areas in less time, as well as handle more debris. The MAX has larger tires for even better traction, faster speeds and to support wider vacuum head options.
DT640 utility crawlers are equipped with a vacuum head held by an actuator arm that allows you to tilt the head during operation and raise and lower the head. The head has intakes on it that you plug a hose into, while the other end of the hose is connected to a submersible pump that provides the suction to pull the dirt out of the tank. The vacuum head focuses the suction on the floor of the tank where the sediment and mud is concentrated and settled. The DT640 is then controlled to maneuver the vacuum head around the tank.
Flexible plastic hose is the most common hose type we see customers use, 1.5-2" in diameter. We can offer custom intake sizes for larger diameters upon request.
Most of our customers use a 2" de-watering pump. The size and power of the pump depends on the length of hose and rate of cleaning you wish to achieve. A larger pump will clean faster but also remove more water. Our typical customers deploy the DT640 with between 50-100' hose and a 500-1000 L/minute pump.
This depends on a variety of factors, including the layout of a location and how much sediment has accumulated. Customers have estimated being able to complete 3000-5000 square feet (280-465 sq/m) per day with one DT640 VAC package.
The DT640 VAC can raise its vacuum head up to 2" off the ground, while the MAX can raise its vacuum head up to 3". You can clean tanks with sediment that is higher than this, but as you drive some sediment will be disrupted and not sent through the hose. The DT640 is best suited for proper ongoing maintenance of tanks, rather than saving extremely neglected tanks.
The DT640 can be equipped with up to a 400m (1,312') tether. The likelihood however of having a hose and pump that long and creating enough suction to perform a proper cleaning at that distance is extremely low. Most cleaning jobs we have seen are within about 75m or 200'. Talk to us about your specific project needs and we are happy to work to find the best solution.
The batteries last for up to 8 hours on a single charge and only take 90 minutes to fully recharge. The batteries can be recharged to 80% in 45 minutes.
There are a few different ways to determine how much has been cleaned. The DT640 is equipped with a camera monitoring the cleaning progress as well as a pan/tilt camera mounted above the crawler to give a "bird's eye view" of the cleaning in progress. In smaller tanks, these cameras with LED floodlights may be enough to determine what has been cleaned. For larger tanks, we see many customers opt to supplement the operation with a DTG3 ROV. The ROV is able to swim around the tank and illuminate as well as capture on camera what areas of the tank have been cleaned and what areas still need attention.
The tether has a breaking strength of 300 lbs. It can be used to lower and deploy the crawler as well as assist in the recovery once the cleaning is done.
About DT640 MAG
This is a difficult number to calculate directly. The pull force of a magnet on a steel surface is dependent on a few factors, including the thickness of the steel, the condition of the surface, and how close the magnets are to the surface. If there is a significant amount of coatings or marine growth, this reduces the strength they hold with. With that being said, we estimate the holding force in a typical vessel hull scenario to be about 300 lbs of force. The Magnetic crawler, on a hull with less than 4" of marine growth and limited corrosion, is very difficult to remove by hand and can withstand any reasonable current that the vessel is moving in.
Yes. The magnetic crawler is depth rated to 50m (164'). It can also work above water. We do recommend that you take the necessary safety precautions when working with anything overhead, if for any reason the magnetic crawler did fall, we do not want anyone to be accidentally harmed.
The batteries last for 6-8 hours on a single charge. The batteries recharge in 90 minutes. The Lithium Ion battery packs are long lasting, with an estimated 1000 charge cycle life. In the event you do use the batteries to the point of being flat, they are something that can be changed to extend the life of the system, you do not have to buy an entire new crawler.
The magnetic crawler should be placed onto the steel surface with care to not place hands between the surface and the magnets. It is best to find a deployment where you have a flat surface to drive throughout the duration of the mission. If there are large obstacles, it is best to try and find an alternative deployment location. To retrieve the crawler, you can retrace your steps and drive the crawler back to you following your tether, or if you are stuck you can pull back by the tether. Once the crawler is safely within reaching distance, we provide a small plastic ramp with magnets to help separate the crawler from the surface.
This depends on the structure of the tank that you are cleaning. Many water storage tanks have just one access point and no direct access to the walls to deploy the DT640 MAG magnetic crawler. This means the crawler would need to "jump" to a perpendicular surface in order to move around the tank. Even if the deployment is possible to the wall from the access point, there are often many obstacles to get to the whole tank. In most cases, we do not recommend cleaning the interior walls of a steel tank with any magnetic crawler.