Underwater ROVs: Definition, Top 8 Applications & Best Picks 2020

There’s been a lot of hype around the underwater ROV drone these days.

If you have not heard of it before, you might be confused about the underwater ROV abbreviation and what the underwater ROV drones are used for.

Today I will walk you through the basics about underwater ROV including the definition and application, and help you select the best underwater ROV kit that’s worth your investment.


Underwater ROV drone Navatics MITO

What Are Underwater ROVs

Underwater ROVs (remotely operated vehicles) are highly maneuverable robots that can be controlled remotely from shore to go deep and help explore the subsea world with high-definition videos and real-time live streaming.

Also known as underwater drones or underwater robots, the underwater ROV parts typically include a high-definition underwater ROV camera to record videos, LED lights to illuminate the surroundings for vivid colors, powerful thrusters, and rechargeable batteries.

Underwater ROV Design

And the underwater ROV kit includes the drone itself, a wireless communication buoy, and a remote controller to conduct commands.

Underwater ROV Kit

Typically, the ROV can stay underwater for one or two hours depending on its battery capacity. While some underwater ROV drones are equipped with swappable batteries so you don’t need to worry about running out of battery and it also saves your time charging.

What Are Underwater ROVs Used For: Top 8 Applications

The underwater ROV has buzzed its way into almost every aspect of the submarine world from underwater inspection, photography and scientific research to environmental monitoring and archaeology.

Let’s see how the underwater ROV Navatics MITO plays a role in it to have a better understanding of how we can use the underwater ROV drone in everyday life.

#1. Underwater Photography & Videography

Equipped with high-definition underwater ROV camera and high-brightness LED lights, the underwater ROV drone can record vivid footage even in a depth of 40 meters below the surface in total darkness.

Example: On March 8th, 2019, the 4K underwater ROV kit Navatics MITO was deployed in the Beijing Aquarium to monitor and record shark tank cleaning. Check out details >

The underwater ROV camera captures:

Bonus: A bonus point to use ROV for underwater videography is that it can be sent for dangerous underwater shootings, like this shark-infested tank. It also saves your money to hire expensive professional videographers to dive down for the filming.

#2. ROV for Underwater Inspection

With highly maneuverable underwater ROV, you can easily inspect your assets like the boat hull by simply tapping on your phone without getting wet or hiring a diver down to do that for you.

Example: The underwater ROV Navatics MITO helps inspect the Cirque de Soleil “O” theatre, the main pool stage of the “O” performance by Cirque Du Soleil, for the theatre regular maintenance. Check out details >

#3. Aquaculture Inspections

Underwater ROVs are widely used by modern fishing men to inspect the aquaculture farms for net damage, moor lines and conditions of other submerged infrastructures.

They can also help monitor the fishes’ health and behavior without scaring them. With 4K underwater ROV camera, the drone will give you crisp footage!

Example: The underwater ROV kit Navatics MITO has participated in the Ghost Net cleaning event in HK to help divers locate the target before getting into water. Check out details >

#4. Diving Monitoring

An underwater ROV is very helpful in diving practices. It is important to relay real-time underwater information to the surface while diving. The underwater ROV kit can follow divers in the water and observe their performance by delivering live steaming.

Example: The Navatics MITO underwater ROV has helped Jessea, the international free diving record holder, to record the student performances in her free diving classes so she can playback the video and see clearly how to improve their skills in a specific way.

#5. Hull Inspections

Underwater ROV vehicle provides an efficient alternative to monitor the status of ships’ hull with its flexible control system. So you can check on things underwater easily whenever needed. There is no longer a need to send divers down for hull inspections anymore.

Example: Thevideo shows how MITO drone inspects the weld integrity, props, zincs and intakes. Regular hull inspection is much easier with the underwater ROV kit.

#6. Cave Exploration

The underwater ROV vehicle is equipped with high lumen LED lights to explore dark environments and thanks to its sleek design, the small underwater ROV robot can maneuver in much tighter space than humans.

Example: Thevideo shows how MITO, the most stable underwater ROV vehicle, explore the caves and helps identify the underwater conditions before sending down the divers.

#7. Marine Research

The underwater ROV provides the scientific, educational, and environmental community with an affordable and flexible research tool for marine surveys including biodiversity studies, species monitoring, benthic sampling, reef monitoring, etc.

Example: The Nature Conservancy uses MITO underwater ROV drone to track the fish population since it won’t disturb marine lives.

#8. Underwater ROV for Boating

If you own a yacht or a boat, the underwater ROV kit would be a great addition. You could use it to conduct ship inspections, survey fishing spots, preview dive sites or explore the vast marine life. It is useful and fun to have an ROV underwater robot on your boat.

Example: See the video to check out how the Navatics MITO underwater ROV with camera helps boat owners to conduct below-the-surface inspections.

Best Underwater ROV for Sale in 2020

The underwater ROVs are getting popular and becoming a lot more affordable.

There are all kinds of underwater ROVs for sale today. If you are looking for a quality one to help you accomplish the above tasks or just curious to discover more about the vast marine world, the Navatics MITO is a perfect choice to get you started.

Recommended as one of the best toys and gadgets for yacht by Forbs, the underwater ROV robot Navatics MITO makes underwater photography, video and live streaming available to everyone.

Underwater Drone Kit

Underwater ROV camera resolution4K UHD in 30 PFS
Live streaming resolution1080p Full HD
FOV (camera field of view)120 degrees diagonal
Underwater robot speed2m/s (3.8 knots)
Wireless communication range500 meters
Battery life4 hours with swappable battery
Maximum depth40m (130 ft)
Tether length50m (165 ft)
LED light2 x 1000 lumens

Why you’ll love Navatics MITO:

  • Advanced built-in stabilization technology allows it to capture stunning videos even on the move
  • One-click color correction on the phone makes it easy to recover vivid colors
  • Solar powered wireless communication buoy with quick charge
  • 4K UHD with 120° FOV wide-angle camera and display
  • 4-hour battery life plus swappable battery extended running time
  • The underwater camera for ROV has 120° wide viewing angle

Underwater ROV FAQs and Quick Answers

Here I‘ve also rounded up a list of the most frequently asked questions about underwater ROVs. Check the answers to learn more about the ROV underwater vehicle.

What does AUV mean?

AUV stands for autonomous underwater vehicles. Compared with the ROV (remotely operated vehicle), it can conduct the given mission independently without an operator. And when the mission is completed, the AUV will return to its pre-programmed location.

How long can an ROV stay underwater?

How long an ROV underwater robot can stay underwater depends on its battery capacity, and it usually goes between one to four hours on a single charge. If you expect longer running time like forever, the underwater ROV with swappable batteries would be your best choice.

How deep can an underwater ROV vehicle dive?

The depth varies greatly among the underwater ROVs and it depends on its applications. The professional underwater ROVs for commercial or military uses may go deeper to over 300 meters (1000 ft). And for recreational uses, 50 meters depth should be enough.

How much does an ROV cost?

The underwater ROV price also varies greatly between different types ranging from around $300 to around $10,000. And an affordable underwater drone that can dive down to over 40 meters usually starts from $2000.

How are underwater ROV robots controlled?

The underwater ROV is tethered to a wireless communication buoy for land-to-water data transmission. And then the data was transmitted wirelessly via radio network to your phone or the remote controller.

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