Development Status and Classification of Underwater Robots

As the global COVID-19 continues, many industries have been impacted and affected, even some of them have not been able to go forward. Moreover, as the country and people have spent too much money on health care, they no longer have more spare money to spend on food, drink and entertainment or to buy some non-essential items.

Part 1: Global Underwater Drone Market Outlook

Even so, some industries are still in a positive situation, such as the underwater drone industry. From a closer look, it seems that the opportunities to go out to sea and take have become less because of the influence of the COVID-19. Meanwhile, the purchasing power of electronic consumer goods has also dropped accordingly. Actually, with the progress of scientific research and people's fanatical pursuit of high-tech products, underwater drones have always been in a state of short supply.

With the increasing tension in the international situation (Russia-Ukraine conflict), whether it is aerial drones or underwater drones, countries have gradually shifted drones from civilian use to military use. This has also made the drone market tight.


According to EMR statistics, the global underwater drone market attained a value of more than USD 3.355 billion in 2021. The market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12% in the forecast period of 2022-2027 to account for a value of over USD 6.64 billion by 2027.



It can be seen that our continuous efforts in the underwater drone market must be a correct and meaningful thing.


Part2: Types of Underwater Drone

An underwater drone is defined as an unmanned miniature submarine, which is controlled by computers and sensors. The underwater drones are usually equipped with cameras and manipulator arms and are used for carrying out ocean exploration.

Here, we divided it in terms of performance, models, etc.

1. According to whether manual operation required:

  • Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV)
  • Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV)
  • Unmanned Underwater Vehicle(UUA)

ROV: stands for Remotely Operated Vehicle and is almost always referring to an underwater ROV vehicle.

An underwater ROV is a robotic vehicle that can go anywhere from the water surface to full ocean depth and is used to observe and complete tasks by the ROV user.

Geneinno ROV

AUV: stands for Autonomous Underwater Vehicle and is generally in a torpedo form and doesn’t have a tether (although there are exceptions).


UUV: stands for Unmanned Underwater Vehicle and is the collective term for any underwater drone or underwater robot, including underwater ROVs and AUVs.

 2. According to the robot service industry:

  • Civilian consumer-grade underwater robot : mainly used for entertainment and underwater photography.The devices are usually relatively small and require relatively high shooting hardware.
  • Light industrial underwater robots: civilian-level underwater robots can basically reach the light industrial level usually. They perform underwater operations such as sampling, salvage, cruise, etc. by connecting external equipment like lighting, robotic arms, etc. The prices are generally high, and it is difficult for individuals to afford.
  • Industrial underwater robots: mainly used for hull survey, ocean mining, heavy object salvage, marine rescue, etc.
  • Military-grade underwater robots:undoubtedly used to deal with national defense and maritime security. They patrol the maritime borders of countries to ensure national security.

Part 3:The Main Performance of Underwater Robots

According to the classification of underwater robots, we can clearly know the main operating environment and functions of underwater robots. Here is a summary of major underwater robot operations: underwater photography, marine research, biological sampling, hull survey, fish farming, salvage and rescue, military defense.


Over the forecast period,  underwater robots are likely to witness a significant demand from the oil and gas industry, owing to the ability of the product to inspect and repair submerged infrastructures, which, in turn, is anticipated to propel the market growth.

Related blog