Recently, we have been developing three underwater vehicles in JAMSTEC. The development trend of these vehicles is introduced in this paper. UROV7K system operates the vehicle by one optical fiber cable of the about 1mm diameters from shipboard. The maximum working depth is 7,000m. A deep sea and long cruising range Autonomous Underwater Vehicle "URASHIMA (cord name: AUV-EX1". It has been developed by JAMSTEC since 1997. An Autonomous Underwater vehicle named "MR-X1 (Marine Robot - Experimental 1" that working in the ice covered sea area.


Since the establishment of JAMSTEC in 1971, several basic and advanced survey systems have been developed to exploit and study the deep ocean. However, many areas still remain unexplored such that ice covered seas, stormy and rough seas, around active ocean volcanoes and other dangerous areas. The problems of global scales such as global environmental problem, natural disaster, energy resource problem is closely related to the ocean, and it is necessary to research of these unexplored sea areas for the solution. For this purpose, JAMSTEC tries to not only improve the present research systems and observation instruments, but also research and develop new technologies and equipment for wider observation sea areas. Recently, we have been developing three underwater vehicles. These three vehicles are introduced in this paper. UROV7K UROV7K has been developed since 1997 for visual observation of the seafloor, and for inspection and recovery of moored instruments. ROV is possible to get real-time TV picture on support vessel and to do manipulator operation. But the tether cable is thickly long in order to supply the vehicle with the high electrical power from support vessel. Therefore the working region of ROV is limited. AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle) is difficult to get real-time TV picture on support vessel and to work by the manipulator.

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