Underwater Drone

The Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicle Enters the Commercial Mainstream

Although they have been around, in one form or another, for decades, remotely operated underwater vehicles are only now beginning to meet with widespread usage. For many years, they were mostly found in active duty in the oil and gas industry, where gigantic, globe-spanning companies relied upon vehicles costing millions of dollars to do everything from exploring underwater to inspecting oil platforms and other assets. With the introduction of an affordable ROV by a company at oil and energy exploration, such vehicles are starting to find much larger audiences elsewhere.In addition to the cost associated with the underwater drone of days past, there were a number of other barriers to wide acceptance that have started to fall. One of the most significant of these was always that piloting such a vehicle tended to require quite a bit in the way of specialized skills and training, with some operators doing little else over the course of their careers.Many such vehicles today are much easier to operate, however. In fact, some even make use of simple joystick-based control interfaces that work much like video games do, meaning that even just being familiar with the latter can be a big help. Even those that use more traditional interfaces are often much simpler to pilot today, thanks to features like automatic leveling systems and other means of assistance.In addition to being easier to pilot, these drones are also frequently much more mobile than their predecessors. While the vehicles used in the energy industry tend to emphasize the ability to dive deep and withstand the great pressures found there, many of the more modern kind instead put a premium on mobility. Despite being easy to operate, then, they can also squeeze into tight spaces and otherwise go anywhere their users might want them.Many of these modern vehicles are also much more compact than their forebears. Some of the most capable oil-industry drones still weigh in at hundreds of pounds, making simply transporting them a difficult thing to do. In this new generation of drones, though, units that can be easily carried in one hand are now becoming common, while still offering all of the functionality that users in a range of indu