Reach Robotics Reach Subsea Lights on the Oceanbotics srv-8 ROV. Courtesy of Topaz Subsea

David Whillas from Topaz Subsea has been a friend and customer of Reach Robotics since we first launched in 2016. We recently caught up with David to talk about his use of our Reach Subsea Lights and Reach Alpha 5 manipulator.

“Reach Robotics has always offered great support and are always keen to help with innovations and improvements to their products.”

David Whillas, Topaz Subsea.

Topaz Subsea is based in Perth, Western Australia and works extensively with the science community on many projects, including sampling corals and seabed surveys. They’ve also worked helping fisheries, oil & gas inspection and with the water police.  They provide sales, hire, service, and support for a range of ROV systems and equipment, including Reach Robotics’s Reach Subsea Lights and Reach Alpha 5 manipulators.

David’s latest project integrates our Subsea lights on the new RJE Oceanbotics SRV8 X ROV (pictured). Their subsea lights needed to be small, lightweight, and, most importantly, reliable and they found that in their Reach Subsea Light which has completed nearly 2000hrs dive time in a minimum 100-350m depth without any failures or decrease in performance.

The Reach Subsea Light was developed after we kept hearing about issues with available underwater LED lights, particularly concerning leaks and interface. Our main priority was reliability over time. Specifically, this meant avoiding strain relief on the cable/light interface, improved pressure tolerant housings, over-temperature protection, and accommodating for serial (RS485) or PWM signal sources. Primarily aimed at vehicle manufacturers, we also provide to vehicle operators who need to upgrade their current illumination status.

Topaz Subsea also needed a manipulator with a small overall size, dexterity, intuitive operation and which works efficiently with the master arm topside controller. The Alpha 5 manipulator has helped Topaz Subsea to achieve its objectives;

“The Reach Alpha 5 manipulator has proved extremely helpful in achieving objectives with dexterity to reach difficult places which were otherwise unreachable.”

David Whillas, Topaz Subsea.

Read more about the Reach Subsea Lights here.

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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.