How the operator interacts with FUSION is a critical aspect and one that was approached with the same attention to detail. From a hardware perspective there are two Human Machine Interface (HMI) units to choose from based on preference. Both provide an extremely small footprint maintaining the “expeditionary” nature of the FUSION system as well as both boasting the exceptional FUSION user interface.
The HMI Compact offers an ultra-small form factor controller that allows an operator to operate FUSION while standing or sitting. Designed into a rugged housing the HMI is designed for small boat operations in demanding conditions such as rain, high sea state and extreme temperatures.
Based around a rugged tablet computer the HMI Compact is operated either via the hardware joysticks (joystick mode) or the touchscreen. The bright screen is easily viewed in different lighting conditions and the intuitive user interface provides operators with all the sensor data and controls to accomplish a variety of tasks.
Physical controls include:
- 3 axis joystick (horizontal control)
- Single axis joystick (dive/surface)
- Camera tilt
- Grabber open/close/rotate
Like all things FUSION the HMI Compact is battery powered. The battery has an approximate life of 4 hours, however, the system is supplied with a spare battery. There is a single interface cable that connects the HMI to the reel that utilizes military spec connectors.
The HMI compact enables operators to control FUSION in ROV mode, program and download missions in AUV mode or load missions into the Diver module. A single unit for planning, operation and analysis.
HMI EVO is a slightly larger controller that adds a secondary screen to provide greater viewing for all the data FUSION collects. Like HMI Compact the HIM EVO is designed for operation in harsh environments and in an “expeditionary” environment.
The HMI EVO is built around a larger 12-inch rugged tablet that is docked into the lower tray and removable for use with the included keyboard. In the upper panel is a second screen that almost doubles the viewing area. When closed the HMI EVO is fully waterproof, protects all internal components such as the joysticks and includes a retractable carry handle.
Controlling FUSION in joystick mode is slightly different with HMI EVO as it includes dual 6-axis controllers that are programmable to operator preferences. A single controller can operate FUSION or the controls can be split between both controllers. Additionally, there are sliders and buttons for other commands that are also programmable. With the dual controllers it is also possible to control the optional dual 5 function manipulators that FUSION can be equipped with.
The HMI EVO has an easy to fit sun/rain shade if desired but is fully equipped to operate in direct sunlight or rain. Like the HMI Compact there is a single interconnect cable to the reel for ROV tether operations or programming/download missions in AUV mode. The HMI EVO operates the same intuitive user interface, but with the added benefit of the second screen for additional display area.
Choose the HMI EVO where data viewing is higher priority and that small extra deck space is available.
With the HMI Compact and FUSION equipped with the dual 5 function manipulator package optional controllers can be quickly attached to the HMI Compact picatinny rails. One for each arm providing full control of the dual arms. The arms are intuitive to operate and fully functional through the FUSION user interface (no additional software required). Additionally, there is 3D representation of the arms in the user interface.