June 25, 2013 / ROV

In the past, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) were so expensive and difficult to use that only major government agencies and militaries were able to fully use the equipment, for instances like fixing ships or finding mines. However, in the past decade, these machines have become both more affordable and easier to use, giving companies in other industries the ability to work with an ROV, such as offshore drilling companies or police forces, an article in the Wall Street Journal explains

The Journal wrote that due to a larger entrance into the ROV market, there is a wider range in both pricing and different types of ROVs. Machines have been created for scientists for underwater research, or by offshore drilling companies to find leaks in a rig. Eventually, more individuals will be able to use ROVs. 

At the same time, the article notes that along with ROV expansion comes the need for extra protection and safety measures, such as ROV insurance. If an ROV has an unknown leak and other malfunction, it sink or be lost by a team, and sometimes creatures can damage the device. 

"Two years ago a shark attacked a sea-gliding robot piloted by Liquid Robotics Inc., causing the device used to collect data for BP to malfunction," the article read. Another company, DeepTrekker Inc., almost lost an ROV when a barracuda took a bite. 

Still, as more companies and individuals see the benefits of using an ROV, and manufactures make these machines more widely available, the ROV industry is expected to grow. 

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