Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Genesis | Flanders Marine Institute

Flanders Marine Institute

Platform for marine research

Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Genesis

The Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Genesis is an (unmanned) underwater robot that can dive to a depth of 1300 m. Because of the ROV Genesis, visual observations by means of cameras and samples by means of a working arm can be executed on locations that can rarely be explored such as methane sources, cold-water coral reefs or ocean margins. The ROV is controlled by a pilot who follows every action on screens from a container mounted on the research vessel.

How does a ROV work?

The ROV fits in a Tether Management System (TMS) that is placed from a research vessel onto the seafloor. The TMS is a kind of garage for the ROV: once on the seafloor, the ROV sets off for a sampling trip. The TMS and the research vessel are connected through a cable, as are the ROV and the TMS.

The ROV is controlled by a pilot who follows every action on screens from a container mounted on the research vessel. A hydraulic working arm can perform simple samplings. The device is equipped with several lights, with both colour and high resolution video and picture cameras which can film and take pictures and with a laser measuring system. The depth, course, height, swell and slope are continuously registered, as are the temperature and salinity of the water.

  Infographic for the ROV Genesis

  Movies about the ROV Genesis


Usefulness of the ROV?

  • Using the ROV, samples can be collected in difficult accessible locations/phenomes such as deep sea canyons, cold water coral reefs, carbonate mounds, mud volcanoes, methane sources, etc.
  • ‘Hotspots’ of life are commonly discovered in sometimes extreme environments. Such hotspots contain life forms that are sometimes completely new for the science. The ROV is an ideal research instrument to discover such hotspots.
  • Real-time visualisation at great depths.
  • The ROV Genesis is also deployed from the RV Simon Stevin for scientific campaigns in the Belgian part of the North Sea. Both the RV Simon Stevin and the ROV are fit for shallow coastal water: to take bottom cores, investigate shipwrecks or to map the sea bottom.

Some studies:

  • Belgian underwater robot explores the Antarctic seafloor:

de Batist, M. et al. (2013)

  • Monitoring of the impact of the extraction of marine aggregates, in casu sand, in the zone of the Hinder Banks:

Van Lancker, V. et al. (2015)

Technical details

The ROV of VLIZ, is a Genesis ROV of the type Cherokee ROV, Sub Atlantic, Aberdeen. This device contains the following technical information:

  • Dimensions:
    • ROV:
      • l x w x h: 1,4 m x 0,87 m x 1,11 m
      • Weight (in air): 300 kg
    • TMS: Tethered Management system
      • l x w x h: 1,95 m x 1, 19 m x 2, 372 m
      • Weight (in air): 700 kg
    • Weight ROV + TMS + cable + devices: 1500 kg
  • 6 vectorized thrusters, powered by 440 VAC
  • Cameras and light:
    • Luxus High Definition Camera (colour,zoom, 1 lux sensitivity)
    • Luxus Low Light Camera (black/white, zoom, 0.0004 Lux sensitivity
    • 3 x Luxus Compact Cameras (colour,0.1 lux) for front ROV, rear ROV and in TMS
    • 4 x Luxus Wide Angle LED Lights(5500 lumen) : 2x front, rear and TMS
    • Luxus Power LED light (9000 Lumen) front
    • 2 x  Luxus Laser pointers (green)
    • Imenco Tiger Shark Stills camera (14 Mpixels) + Imenco Latern Shark flash
  • Sensors:
    • Standard on video overlay: heading, depth, height, roll, pitch
    • Obstacle avoidance sonar: Tritech super seaKing dual freq., 325/673 kHz
    • CTD: CTD 48M
    • Small coring system
    • Sediment temperature: THP temp probe from micrel
    • Niskin bottles
  • Winch:
    • Hydraulic, from Hydramec:
      • L x w x h: 2,4 m x 2,4 m x 1,7 m
      • Weight with umbilical: 7500 kg
      • Power: 380-440 VAC, 70 Amps at full load

More technical details: click here

How to make use of the ROV Genesis?

For more information about our rental service, please contact VLIZ

Use and conditions

Note: if you use the ROV Genesis of VLIZ as a scientist, please refer to it in your publications as: 'This work was supported by data & infrastructure provided by the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ)'.