Since its beginning, about the 1950s, until the present day, the area explored by unmanned underwater vehicles has significantly increased. The unmanned vehicles have been used for numerous tasks and applications, from rescue operations to sea exploration and detection of bombs, which are planted underwater.
Lately, underwater robots have drawn enormous attention of people for resource exploration and marine engineering. On the one hand, underwater robots are required for the observation of the environment and execution of autonomous navigation and avoidance of obstacles.
A remotely operated underwater vehicle or ROV, is unmanned and generally tied to the operator. It is an underwater robot, which gathers information about the underwater geological establishments like hydrothermal vents. It mainly uses a remote pilot and robotic control technology, making it safe and easy to operate.
Observation-class remotely operated underwater vehicles are used for ocean exploration and deliver HD images and video for study and research purposes. The unmanned vehicle is tailored with additional gear such as manipulator arms, water samplers, and many others. Generally, next-generation ROVs have 8 to 9 hours of battery life.
Autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) offer naval aid roles including, mine countermeasures, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance, oceanography, inspection and identification, and payload delivery. Some AUVs can be used in attacks and also in anti-submarine warfare.
The U.S. Navy has divided AUVs into four classes
· Man-portable vehicles
· Lightweight vehicles
· Heavyweight vehicles
· Extra-large vehicles.
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Before the introduction of robots to explore the sea, submarine cables and pipelines were repaired by people, when they were broken, or when the structure of harbor terminals and oil rigs under the sea needed to be checked for stability and safety, it was upon the divers to who perform such dangerous tasks. such divers risked their lives by diving into the sea for inspections, repairs, and even recovery tasks.
With much improvement in technology, such dangerous tasks, such as submarine mineral exploration, oil extraction, rescue operations, and underwater search can now be performed by underwater robots. They can also be used for inspection of submarine pipelines, submarine cables, underwater structures, and oil drilling.
The introduction of robots has significantly reduced the risks for individuals, by performing such daunting tasks.
Hence, as we all know More than 80% of the ocean has never been mapped, explored, and to explore this unexplored world, the need for underwater robotics will increase at the rate of knots in the future.