Today, autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) are mostly used for survey missions, but many existing applications require manipulation capabilities, such as the maintenance of permanent observatories, submerged oil wells, cabled sensor networks, and pipes; the deployment and recovery of benthic stations; or the search and recovery of black boxes. Currently, these tasks require the use of work-class remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) deployed from vessels equipped with dynamic positioning, leaving such solutions expensive to adopt. To face these challenges during the last 25 years, scientists have researched the idea of increasing the autonomy of underwater intervention systems.
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