ROVs are unmanned, remotely operated underwater vehicles used to safely explore ocean depths controlled by an operator on a ship or on land.

What are ROVs

Remotely operated vehicles, or ROVs, makes it possible to explore the ocean in a safe and effective way.

How they work

ROVs range in size from that of a small computer to as large as a small truck. Larger ROVs are very heavy and need cranes to put them over the side of a ship and into the water.

ROVs, which were first developed for industrial purposes, are now used for many applications, including internal and external inspections of underwater pipelines and the structural testing of offshore platforms.

ROVs are equipped with cameras and lights, allowing them to send images and video back to the surface via the tether. It has virtually unlimited diving time and is very useful in places where it is too dangerous or difficult for conventional diving, or at great depths.

Additional equipment, such as a manipulator or cutting arm, water samplers, and instruments that measure parameters like water clarity, depth and temperature, may also be added to vehicles to allow for collection of samples.

ROVs provide scientists access to the deep ocean, and technological advancements are still being made. Brighter lights, increased data storage, and higher-quality cameras continue to be implemented in ROV updates to pave the way for an even better-understood deep sea.

ROV with manipulator arms taking samples ot the bottom sediment
ROV with manipulator arms taking samples ot the bottom sediment

ROVs for minor underwater work

An ROV for minor underwater work is equipped with searchlights, video camera, positioning system and manipulator arms. The operator controls the ROV from a ship or from shore, and views images or video sent from the ROV via a cable. Minor underwater work can be performed with the help of a manipulator arm. The ROV can be equipped with several different extensions and tools, such as drills and saws.

An ROV inspecting a sunken steamship

ROVs for underwater Inspection

A smaller ROV for inspection is equipped with searchlights, video camera and a positioning system. This type of ROV is useful for inspecting pipelines, underwater cables and fixed installations such as foundations and quaysides.

The operator controls the ROV from a boat or from shore, and views images or video sent from the ROV via a cable. All video footage is stored in HD-format.

About the images
RWMT work with nation states, government agencies and institutions on sensitive and often classified operations. Also, the tools we use are constantly being evaluated and changes depending on the nature of the operation. Because of this, we have sometimes chosen to show example images of the tools we use, rather than images from actual projects.

Used for

Work monitoring
Recovering lost objects
Assisting divers
Collecting samples
Carrier of sonar equipment
Documenting (video and sound recording)

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