Low Cost Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicles
The ocean covers roughly 71% of the Earth's surface. It not only determines the weather conditions and regulates the temperature, but also provides resources and energy for humanity and the rest of the living species on Earth. However, we have only explored 5% of it. This is mainly due to the lack of affordable technologies that would allow human beings to see and interact in depths that they cannot explore alone.
Since the 1960s, the ROV (Remoted Operated Vehicle) technology has been developed for military applications and for the oil & gas sector. Recently, several companies have begun to use the same concepts to create scaled solutions, within the reach of small companies or research groups (including individuals), which is opening a world of possibilities in many fields of application, such as the aforementioned exploration, inspections in underwater work, monitoring of sea conditions, scientific research, etc.
The concept of ROV consists of an unmanned remotely operated vehicle, which is connected to the control station by an umbilical cable. It is self-propelled by electric motors and different vision systems, sensors or actuators, depending on their application.
The first system that can be classified within the history of underwater robotics is known as the PUV, "Programmed Underwater Vehicle". This system consisted of a torpedo, developed by Luppis-Whitehead Automobile in 1864, which was programmed to achieve certain objectives autonomously. But the first ROV with umbilical cable was developed by Dimitri Rebikoff in 1953, under the name of POODLE.
Since then, the US Navy was the one who promoted the development of technology to a functional state, with the CURV, CURV II and CURV III models, developed for the recovery of test torpedoes and for rescue missions. The most notable achievements of these models were the recovery of a hydrogen bomb on the coast of Palomares, Spain, and the rescue of two pilots of the PISCES III submarine off the coast of Cork, Ireland.
Later, the development focused on the oil & gas sector, extending the depth of work and the use of sonar systems, tools, and other payment charges..