Reach Robotics, a leading innovator in remote intervention for harsh environments, has today launched the Reach X Advanced Intervention System, providing a step-change in underwater manipulator technology for portable Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs). 

Since 2018, Reach Robotics has been working with allied militaries to help develop the future of expeditionary intervention. The Reach X, a power-dense, compact manipulator, will revolutionize subsea operations by enabling portable ROVs to carry out tasks previously reserved for human divers. 

The Reach X Advanced Intervention System (RX-AIS)

A solvable problem 

With the rapid miniaturization of technology in the past decade, portable ROVs have burst onto the scene offering advanced navigation and sensing capabilities in a one- or two-person deployable package. However, their ability to intervene has always been limited and so human divers are still needed to complete tasks such as manipulating, cutting, or untangling a line, attaching a hook, or retrieving and placing objects in precise locations.  

The problem is that existing robotic arm systems either lack dexterity or are too bulky and heavy to provide a useful capability to military operators. Further, the control systems are often primitive or complex and uncomfortable; control systems that aren’t intuitive fall out of favour and consequently use by operators. This renders a significant robotics investment wasted. 

Five years of collaboration with US and Australian DoD operators has provided the insight Reach Robotics needed to address these shortfalls through the release of the Reach X. 

 “In 2023, human divers still have to go into harm’s way to deal with a variety of underwater threats. That’s a problem. Reach Robotics has the power to be part of the solution, and so we created the Reach X to provide a useful step-change in capability to the Clearance Diver and Mine Warfare community.”

Anders Ridley-Smith, Director of Business Development at Reach Robotics
RX-AIS Integrated on VideoRay Defender. Image c/o US DoD

A track record in underwater technology 

Making underwater robotic arms is hard. Within the design of any Reach Robotics product resides the lessons learnt and expertise gained from seven years of innovation and real-world deployments in the Defence and Offshore Energy sectors. The Reach X is a new manipulator, but it draws on the track record of manufacturing excellence that comes from building, testing, and shipping almost 1000 systems to date. 

RX-AIS Integrated on SRS Fusion. Image c/o US DoD

Reach Robotics is proud to launch the Reach X Advanced Intervention System and excited to work with existing and new clients as they push the boundaries of what’s possible with remote intervention in 2024.  

About Reach Robotics 

Reach Robotics is extending human reach into harsh environments by creating tough, durable, advanced manipulation and perception systems. Our systems enable clients in mission-critical Defence and Commercial sectors to remotely inspect their infrastructure and intervene in their environment. We help our clients multiply their efficiency, eliminate risk, and improve safety. Reach Robotics was founded in 2016 and is headquartered in Sydney, Australia with additional team members in the US and UK. 

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Command Pods

Command Pods are a pair of space mouse controllers comprising of left and right units. They are designed to attach to an ROV control tablet and allow full system control from one interface. The Command Pod configuration simplifies control of a dual-manipulator system as operators are able to intuitively control both arms, while still piloting the vehicle.
The joystick model allows for arms to be directed towards a target while the system automatically maps the arms configuration along that path.


Compatible with all Reach Robotics manipulators, the Master Arm controller is available in five and seven-function models to mimic your robotic arm. Achieve unparalleled precision and accuracy while undertaking complex tasks including:
  • Precise placement of probes for crack and corrosion monitoring.
  • Place and recover objects with unmatched dexterity and minimised
  • Attach hooks and shackles consistently.
  • Reach confined areas unreachable with lower degree-of-freedom manipulators
    and traditional control methods.