With every year, more and more underwater infrastructure is being constructed. Underwater maintenance and repairs are very demanding tasks that are often carried out with the high risk to human health (divers) or with the help of extremely expensive, weighing few tons work-class robots. In 2014, we decided to capsize the status quo creating an underwater drone of considerable capabilities confined in a small envelope. We developed unique construction and started Bisonte company in order to commercialize it. Thanks to our invention - ultra lightweight, elastic, variable geometry hull - NIX drone offers capabilities of work-class robots while maintaining size and weight of miniROV (small inspection robot). These properties make it the first miniature underwater drone that can be utilized not only for inspection, but also for wide array of payload-demanding tasks.
Thanks to unprecedented payload-to-curb-weight ratio (even 35 times bigger than classic ROVs’), NIX drone family is capable of performing typical heavy work-class ROV jobs while maintaining low mass and dimensions. This trait helps to lower the cost of logistics and operation by decreasing the need for additional infrastructure and multiple operators and crewmen. Replacing heavy (0.5-7t) work-class ROV with NIX drone (10-200kg) greatly increases safety and reduces risk of causing harm to people and infrastructure both during transport and the operation itself. Smaller versions of NIX drones can be transported in a trunk of a car, carried and controlled by one person, thus greatly increasing mobility and potential of NIX drones being used as emergency response tools for variety of industries, and even for natural disasters’ containment. Immense payload and modular construction enables our drones to be equipped with variety of auxiliary sensors, tools and manipulators. Due to variable-geometry hull, our drones can lift heavy objects from the sea bottom without dropping ballast, which in most cases is unacceptable. Thanks to the patented solution, our drone is energy efficient and, as one of the few, can be powered by on-board batteries, thus greatly increasing capability to work in harsh environment. There is no need for vertical thrusters (inseparable part of classic solutions), which extends battery life and significantly reduces amount of lifted sediments that can obscure cameras’ vision.
1500mm x 350mm x 350mm
Horizontal thrust (2 x 135W)
Horizontal thrust (6 x 350W)
12 x 15Ah 3.2V LiFePO4
Battery life (inspection work)
9 hours per power pack
Maximum number of power packs
Maximum rated depth
300m standard, greater depth-rated versions available on request
200m - 2000m
Basic lights (additional lights available)
NIX is patent protected (US patent no. 9,776,694, patent pending in Poland - P.413003)
ROVs are currently used world-wide for variety of tasks than would otherwise be dangerous or even impossible.
Thanks to big payload and modularity, NIX drones can perform maintenance and repair tasks considering:
- oil platforms
- oil and gas pipelines
- underwater cables
- dams and hydroelectric power plants
- cooling water intakes points for conventional and nuclear power plants
- ships and yachts
Bigger versions of the drone can carry out missions such as: