Remotely operated vehicles used by the oil and gas sector can be enhanced to gather more scientific data, researchers say.
Underwater robots are regularly used by the oil and gas industry to inspect and maintain offshore structures. The same machines could be adapted to gather extra scientific information, thus boosting environmental and resource management capabilities, an Australian-led study has revealed.
Scientists from around the globe, led by Dianne McLean and Miles Parsons from the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), are urging closer ties between industry and researchers to maximise the use of the underwater robots, known as remotely operated vehicles (ROVs).
In a paper published in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science, they identify a range of instruments that can be easily added to the craft, including cameras, audio recorders and sample collectors.[continue reading…]