Dominion Diving made big cost savings by customizing their Saab Seaeye Cougar XT light work electric robotic vehicle and boosting its performance.

The resulting Cougar XT custom version could handle a tooling package normally possible only on a much larger hydraulic system – and take on three demanding tasks in one hit.

Founded 50 years ago, Dominion Diving, based on Canada’s Atlantic coast, provide subsea services and have a reputation for finding imaginative ways to fulfil demanding tasks.

Matthew Lohnes, president of Dominion, explains how the Cougar XT’s power and design flexibility allowed them to readily enhance and boost the system.

“We effectively turned the Cougar into a work class system that could undertake tasks typically needing 100hp hydraulic tooling and perform three roles in one tooling package.”

2DominionCougarThe Cougar XT custom version, in Dominion Diving livery, complete with its three-fold 100hp equivalent tooling package.

He explains how the subsea intervention was to profile a manifold site using multibeam sonar; then operate a trash pump to excavate and clear sand and debris from the valve row, before engaging a torque tool to isolate the manifold and then operate a manipulator to turn paddle valves.

“In building the package we added extra channels to control different survey equipment, and built an enlarged skid to accommodate the tooling which included a Kraft Predator seven-function force feedback manipulator and a torque tool.”

Faced with a new one-ton payload, they added an additional thruster to the Cougar XT’s six-strong thruster pack.

The result was a very compact system that undertook all three tasks whilst operating successfully in currents of 2.5 knots and working with exceptional manoeuvrability in a confined space.

The Cougar XT is a proven compact 2000 metre rated electric vehicle that is able to handle a variety of task-specific skids with different tooling options that can be easily bolted on and changed as needed.

Matthew Lohnes concluded by stating that the flexibility and performance of the customized Cougar XT meant the job was completed on time and to budget.

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