It seems that people all around the world are getting familiar with the aerial drones. This technology is used for various purposes and we can make sure that it opens up wider windows of the world. From the great use which can be found from the aerial drones, the concept is adopted as well as adapted so it can be used in a completely different environment. Nowadays, people can also find the drones which are designed to work underwater. It must be very useful for people with different backgrounds from the commercial divers to oceanographic scientists. Here are some robotics technologies which can be used beneath the waves.
There is no question that the underwater drones are used for exploring the ocean. It should be able to explore more than people can do. It is used for exploring the ocean of the world with the most extreme depth after all. People can see the Nereus. It is the combination between the autonomous underwater drone and the ROV which can be controlled remotely. This underwater robot is made by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The reason why this drone is made is for exploring Challenger Deep which can be found in the Mariana Trench located near Guam. In fact, this location is the deepest point of the ocean which has been surveyed in the world. This drone has reached the Challenger Deep bottom in 2009. It was a success story of this drone but it also has a different story when it is used for exploring the Kermadec Trench located near New Zealand in 2014. It lost its vessel at the depth with high pressure.
This is the underwater drone which is fully autonomous. It can provide the advantages used by people in the oil and gas industry. For example, a drone submarine called yellow marlin made by Lockheed Martin has been utilized for inspecting the rigs located offshore. Underwater pipelines inspection is also made with this unit. There is a lot of money involved in this sector especially in the Gulf of Mexico. This underwater drone can be used at up to 300 meters in depth and it can last for 16 hours. It also comes with the updated version called the Marlin MK2.
There was a gathering of the biggest robotic underwater drones in the world due to the oil spill of the Deepwater Horizon in 2010. People can see that there are many ROVs which work hard for stemming the spilled oil from the wellhead which has been shattered on the seafloor. This work was done for months. It was a disaster but there was some lesson which can be learned. It is important to make the ROV which is autonomous. It will be so much better even if there must be a kind of umbilical cable which is connected to the control ship on the ocean surface. The advanced ROV such as the Schilling UWD has used various technologies for keeping it oriented such as the Doppler sonar, compasses, as well as pressure gauges. If people can create the technology which automating the ROV more, it must be useful for refining the awareness of the unit to its surrounding.
The miniature version of ROV makes it usable even when it is not supported by the ship for operating it. In fact, it is difficult to make radio communication underwater because of the saltwater electrical conductivity. That is why the ROV must be connected directly using the umbilical cable to the operator. It must be done especially when the ROV is used for doing the inspection underwater and other expert tasks. The example of a commercial unit of this type of ROV is the Deep Trekker drone. The control for this unit is the handset with a video link. The operation of the unit can be done from the surface. However, it can also be done in the water by a diver. It can be completed with the multibeam sonar system so it will be able to see in the water which is murky or dark. This is the type of drone which is used by the scuba divers for seeking the shipwrecks in the Lake Huron. It is the only thing which is done by this underwater drone for sure. The exploration inside the wreck of the USS Arizona located at the Pearl Harbor was performed using this underwater robot. There are more and more underwater robotic drones which can be found and it seems like it can be as beneficial as people have expected.