Underwater robots are regularly used by the oil and gas industry to inspect and maintain offshore structures.
But as this image suggests, they could also handle more delicate tasks, such as collecting marine samples.
In a paper in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science, an international team led by Dianne McLean and Miles Parsons from the Australian Institute of Marine Science identifies a range of instruments that could be easily added to remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), including cameras, audio recorders and sample collectors.
“Here, we identify and describe operationally feasible methods to adjust the way in which industry ROVs are operated to enhance the scientific value of data that they collect, without significantly impacting scheduling or adding to deployment costs,” the authors write.
“These include rapid marine life survey protocols, imaging improvements, the addition of a range of scientific sensors, and collection of biological samples.”
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