Based on technology developed in 2014 and used by Australian oil company Woodside, WFS Technologies has developed and tested the Seatooth Video Mark II in the North Sea. The technology was designed to be deployed by a ROV but a diver-operated tablet computer was instead used on the North Sea project to set up and control the video cameras. The WFS system wirelessly live-streamed images to the diver, and locally stored raw footage for recovery at the surface.
New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) is pioneering the use of ROVs for surveillance in high-risk locations (where there are high volumes of international vessel arrivals) for marine pest incursions. The ROVs are particularly useful where there is a risk of large predators, like leopard seals, sea lions and sharks, presenting dangers to divers.
Engineers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) have designed an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) to study and follow individual creatures in the ocean twilight zone for up to 2 days. The build team expanded to include engineers and scientists from WHOI, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), Stanford University, and the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, with additional funding from the National Science Foundation. The Mesobot is expected to make its maiden plunge into the twilight zone mid-2019.