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24 Underwater Drones – The Boom in Robotics Beneath the Waves

Concepts developed in aerial drones, such as greater levels of autonomy, are finding new expression underwater. Autonomy — the ability to take action without direct control &mash; makes a drone more like a true robot and less like a remote-controlled device.

Although they lack ofcomplete autonomy, very advanced remote-operated underwater vehicles, known as ROVs, have become a mainstay of scientific and commercial underwater operations, from undersea oil drilling projects to scientific research in the most extreme environments in the ocean.

The most celebrated ROV team are Argo, ANGUS and Jason Junior (shown here) which were used by the US research ship Knorr to discover the shipwreck of the Titanic in 1985 – after they had completed a top-secret mission to inspect the remains of a lost US Navy nuclear submarine, the USS Scorpion.

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