The paper deals with deep ROVs (3000 m and deeper) Based on French technology and mainly on experience gained by INTERSUB In designing and manufacturing IFREMER's 6000 m-ROV, ROBIN, the following aspects are presented

Proved and potentia1 applications of deep water ROVs

For many years, deep water interventions (3000–6000 m) have been restricted to scientific research, but today, various organisatioan are showing a growing interest in this field of work TITANIC search and exploration, search for sunken aircraft's black boxes, have opened a new market Potential uses are military, official investigations, underwriters inquires, commercial media, exploitation of wrecks. This list is certainly not limitative.

For these potential applications, specifically designed ROVs could be competitive compared to manned submersibles (less investment cost, better endurance, less expensive spread)

Engineer problems related to deep water ROVs

The design of vehicle itself has been released on many occasions(eg ROBIN) However, other problems still have to be studied carefully for ROVs directly operated from surface Namely

  • power transmission or management

  • deployment system

The last one is the most difficult. The management of umbilical and tether cables becomes essential during deep water operations, because of support ship movement and natural frequencies of the system.

Current developments

This thud part presents a new concept for next generation of ROV and a way to Introduce it on the market with a few expenses and a good prospect of commercial Success


After retirement from submarine service, in 1985, INTERSUB has turned its activity towards submarine engineering Though, this was not new within the company, such efforts were previously oriented to develop and Implement INTERSUB's own service capabilities

Presently INTERSUB offers a complete engineering service to its clients from conceptual and feasibility studies to assembling, testing and delivery of submarine systems Cooperation with INTERSUB is conducted by selected subcontractors and suppliers

The most significant step in this transition was the design and construction of ROBIN It was contracted to INTERSUB by IFREMER in November 1985 and successfully delivered in May 1986. The first Application has been the exploration of TITANIC

What is ROBIN?

The name is an acronym for "ROBot d'Intervention du Nautile" In fact, ROBIN is a remote operated vehicle (ROV) and a satellite of the deep manned submersible NAUTILE ROBIN is operated by the pilot of the submarine and is linked to it through a 75 m long umbilical and is rated to 6000 metres water depth. It was these needs generated by ROBIN which has promulgated such technical progress both for current models as well as the next generation ROV Compared to other observational ROVs, ROBIN differs mainly by the design of its capable waterdepth. It's harsh medium of operation dictates a higher standard in rugged durability. Moreover, the incorporated safety requirements paralleled those of the manned submersible as ROBIN is considered to be auxilliary equipment of NAUTILE This protection concerned the pressure resistant vessel as well as electrical and power management systems

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