Underwater Drones and Things You Need to Learn About Them

Underground drones are less known and less popular, but they are useful in various fields, such as in the oil and gas industry, marine industry, robotics engineering, and ocean mining.

This article presents some of the basic things you need to learn more of about underwater drones, especially useful if you are a STEM student or planning to enter into a STEM career.

Underground drones global market outlook

Similar to their counterparts flown up in the sky, underground drones are seen to grow in demand.

One market research report says (t)he global underwater drone market is estimated to reach $7.83 billion in 2025 with a CAGR of 14.63% from 2019 to 2025. Read more here.

From another market report, here is an overview: […] Sometimes known as remotely-operated underwater vehicles (ROVs), the technologies used in UUVs may include cameras, sensors, and lasers, and these are typically operated using mobile devices. Their use is getting popular in diverse areas such as marine inspection and research, port security, aquaculture, potable water management, offshore drilling, and pipeline inspection and maintenance. The growing use of consumer drones for underwater applications is opening up promising avenues in undersea cinematography and fishing. – Continue to read for the key trends, market potential, and regional outlook.

History of underwater drones

The following is an excerpt:

Underwater drones were first invented in the 1950s. Their design enabled them to carry out missions for the Navy and research colleges. The money came from the defense budget. Like many technologies to emerge from the Cold War, drones fell under the Navy’s control. In the 1960s, technology continued to advance. This allowed an underwater drone to even retrieve a lost nuclear bomb. Continue reading hereabout their technical aspects.

Two categories of underwater drones

Underwater drones are divided into two categories: the remotely operated underwater vehicles or ROUVs/ROVs, which are controlled by a remote human operator, and autonomous underwater vehicles or AUVs. AUVs operate without any remote human operator. (Wikipedia)

Difference between an AUV and a ROV

AUVs can be used for underwater survey missions such as detecting and mapping submerged wrecks, rocks, […] An AUV conducts its survey mission without operator intervention. When a mission is complete, the AUV will return to a pre-programmed location where the data can be downloaded and processed. A remotely operated vehicle (ROV) is an unoccupied underwater robot that is connected to a ship by a series of cables. – Read more here.

Underwater drone photography

For the more adventurous photographers, here is a tip for taking amazing underwater shots: use an underwater drone, from a South Florida Reporter article:

If you prefer to keep yourself dry, or simply love playing with technology, you can utilize an underwater drone to take pictures for you instead of a traditional camera. These drones can dive as deep as 300 to 400 feet beneath the surface and can take 8MP to 12MP photographs (depending on the model.) Some can lock in their depth so their pictures come out more clearly. Furthermore, most underwater drones come with tethers you can attach to the land or your boat to prevent them from getting lost.

Thinking of the best underwater drones to use? See this article to guide you.

Watch the video below:


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