With its range of high-tech robot submarines and Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV), the National Oceanography Centre is at the forefront of marine exploration technology.
The Government recently has reaffirmed its commitment to the robotics industry, which it has described as one of the “Eight Great Technologies”. A new UK Robotic and Autonomous Systems (RAS) Strategy has been published and a new wave of investment in British innovation has been announced, which sees L400 million pounds earmarked for key sectors including the marine industry.
For nearly two decades NOC has been developing and deploying such systems in hazardous marine environments in depths of up to 6,500m, as well as under Antarctic ice shelves. Now numbering about 40 vehicles, the fleet is the largest in Europe and includes an ROV capable of transmitting live HD imagery from the seabed. It also includes eleven gliders and three Autosubs, Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV).