The Hutterian Emergency Aquatic Rescue Team (HEART) are a volunteer group of certified divers from Manitoba, Canada who specialise in emergency water search, rescue and recovery. Using a combination of highly-skilled human divers and specialised technology, they are able to recover victims of tragic drowning accidents from the waterways of their region, including arctic underwater environments.  

HEART has been using Reach Robotics’s Reach Alpha subsea robotic grabber to assist them in these recovery missions but were having trouble with the intense grip stability required to resurface deceased victims. They temporarily installed a makeshift DIY nail modification to their grabber and then approached Reach Robotics for a more long-term solution.

Our engineering team began developing and testing a grabber upgrade that would fulfil these specific task requirements, resulting in a new tool specialised for Search and Recovery – the Reach Alpha Special Recovery Tool. As well as looking the part, the Special Recovery Tool is strong, sturdy and sharp making it an effective solution for HEART’s requirements.

The Reach Robotics team are thrilled to have worked with HEART to ensure their continued mission success. Always keen to rise to the operational challenges faced by our partners and customers, we encourage you to contact us with your specific task requirements today!  

In their own words, this was HEART’s experience with Reach Robotics:

“Here at HEART Team we use the Reach Robotics manipulator on our VideoRay Pro 5 ROV for body recoveries. We had an opportunity to speak with the folks from Reach Robotics at UI2020 about our work and the need for a grabber that is more suitable for taking hold of fabric during recoveries without pulling free. They told us they would come up with something special for us that they believe should work well. We were very impressed with the beautiful design they sent us! A few days ago we used the new mod for the first time and successfully recovered a drowning victim. Thank-you for being there and working together with us to bring solutions that not only work but look pretty darn good too!”

– Manuel Maendel, HEART Team Operator

Click to see more about the entire range of Reach Alpha subsea manipulators and tooling

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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.