The Latest Trends and Developments in ROV Technology

16th August | No Comments

The Latest Trends and Developments in ROV Technology graphic

ROV technologies are constantly evolving.

Lately, it’s felt like there has always been another development that could prove crucial to the success of offshore projects, and keeping track of it all is hard.

Then, even when development is ready for the market, there’s still work to do.

The progression of ROV technology

Take, for example, video imaging.

Every time an improvement has been made and ROVs have been launched with updated cameras, further discoveries have been announced.

Recently, Chinese firm, QYSEA, made the news for their work in developing an AI-enabled imaging system that is able to provide clear underwater photographs that are incredibly high in quality compared to previous technologies.

As it stands, ROVs have a lot of growth ahead of them with an industry-wide drive for continuous improvement.

In 2022, even technologies that aren’t necessarily new concepts (such as underwater cooling systems) are being applied to ROVs in unique and interesting ways, changing the offshore market for the better.

Is it any wonder, then, that such drastic growth is forecasted in ROV sales worldwide?

(Source: Verified Market Research).

What is ROV?

ROV refers to the Remotely Operated Vehicles that explore the ocean depths. Over time, they have become a critical tool in conducting subsea research and reviewing the safety of certain offshore projects, as they can check for nearby hazards.

As it stands, there are four main Remotely Operated Vehicles that are each used for different purposes:

  • Work Class ROVs for ocean floor exploration and inspections at depths that divers are often unable to reach.
  • Light Work Class ROVs for moderate to deep depths; and are often deployed from ships instead of divers.
  • Observation Class ROVs used to explore lakes, rivers and coastal waters to test safety.
  • Micro or Mini ROVs used to inspect hard-to-reach areas at shallow depths, such as pipe systems and submerged infrastructure.

(Source: Deep Trekker)

What are ROV technologies?

ROV technology, however, doesn’t only encapsulate the vehicles themselves. Rather, it is a term used to refer to the systems and processes used in correlation with ROVs.

For example, when an ROV takes an image underwater, this information is transferred to the vessel, where it is analysed by scientists and safety officers using a variety of software.

The latest developments in ROV technology

Over the last few years, the ongoing advancements in ROV technology have been focused entirely on automation.

Why? Because the risk of human error in offshore work could have devastating consequences on the safety and wellbeing of fleets. So, previously manual processes are being replaced by Artificial Intelligence.

In 2022, we’ve already seen automation improvements in ROV applications such as:

  • Remote Control Monitoring
  • Ocean Sensors
  • Acoustic Communications
  • Motor-Driving

It’s impressive and alludes to a very positive future for offshore workers.

Plus, these technological advancements could actively expand the current capabilities of ROVs and make them more useful and cost-efficient for vessel owners.

The latest trends in ROV technology

Today, as ROV technology continues to mature, a clear trend is forming.

One that’s well worth celebrating.

Industry experts, Hydro International, announced that the majority of “various deepwater operation tasks once carried out by semi-submersibles and divers” can now be performed by ROVs using remote technology.

This not only expands the safety of professionals across the subsea industry, but could also reduce the barriers renewable energy companies face in establishing offshore projects. This could be very beneficial to the future of the market.

Other ROV technology trends present in 2022 include:

  1. The use of hydraulics as a power source.
  2. Vehicles communicating directly with subsea asset control systems.
  3. A conversation revolving around having ROVs “permanently docked” at subsea stations.

In their report on the matter, Hydro International stated:

“The continued development of subsea sensor technology will no doubt expand the role of ROV/AUVs over the next decade.”

Ultimately, they believe advancements in ROVs could reduce operational costs across the market and boost sales. We’re inclined to agree.

Working in subsea ROV

Increased ROV intelligence could significantly impact a range of job roles – transforming duties and changing the face of the industry.

For example, before these advancements, Robotics Engineers could expect frequent and lengthy maintenance on individual Remotely Operated Vehicles. Now, safer navigation technology should result in fewer accidents; allowing them to focus their efforts elsewhere.

Additionally, investment into ROV technology is readying the sector for vast growth, meaning workers can look forward to exciting and engaging work opportunities where their safety is of the utmost priority.

The ongoing advancements in ROV technology

Going forward, it seems that responding to (and staying on top of) evolving ROV technologies will become a key part of remaining competitive in the industry.

Recruitment efforts, therefore, should prioritise candidates who are passionate about technology and have an incredible capacity for personal and professional growth.

Individuals who are eager to evolve their career and learn new skills will prove much more important to hiring managers over past experience (where previous work may be made redundant by the industry’s ongoing innovation).

Today, any and all qualified candidates who are interested in the sector will be able to quickly find themselves in rewarding roles.

Especially with the help of Select Offshore’s expert recruiters.

Find Jobs through Select Offshore

Select Offshore specialises in subsea ROV recruitment, and our recruiters use data-driven recruitment practices to deliver maritime professionals who are reliable, communicative, and enthusiastic.
We adhere to tricky deadlines to secure project success through:

  • Executive Search
  • Contract Staffing
  • RPO Solutions

Our team strongly believes in celebrating each of the individuals we work with, dedicating time to find them desirable offshore placements.

Could that benefit you? Contact us now.