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ROV at work in an underwater oil and gas field. The ROV is operating a subsea torque tool (wrench) on a valve on the subsea structure.
A remotely operated vehicle (ROV) is a tethered underwater robot. They are common in deepwater industries such as offshore hydrocarbon extraction. An ROV may sometimes be called a remotely operated underwater vehicle to distinguish it from remote control vehiclesoperating on land or in the air. ROVs are unoccupied, highly manoeuvrable and operated by a person aboard a vessel. They are linked to the ship by a tether (sometimes referred to as an umbilical cable), a group of cables that carry electrical power, video and data signals back and forth between the operator and the vehicle. High power applications will often use hydraulics in addition to electrical cabling. Most ROVs are equipped with at least a video camera and lights. Additional equipment is commonly added to expand the vehicle’s capabilities. These may include sonars, magnetometers, a still camera, a manipulator or cutting arm, water samplers, and instruments that measure water clarity, light penetration and temperature.