Modern ROVs are lowered into the water connected to the surface ship by an umbilical cable. This cable sends the pilot’s commands, as well as feeding back imagery of the sea floor.

Deploying a deep-sea ROV is not an easy task. Depending on location, an ocean going vessel is required, fitted with a handling system that deploys and retrieves the ROV, a control console which allows the pilot to fly the ROV and a cable and telemetry system that links the ROV with the console.

ROVs can collect a wide variety of different data, including video and still imagery and if fitted with the relevent equipment can collect samples and carry a range of different sensors. Deep-water ROVs give scientists incredible opportunities not just to survey the deep sea, but to carry out experiments in one of the most inaccessible environments on earth. Remotely operated vehicles or 'ROVs' are unmanned submarines fitted with an array of sensors, cameras and lights. Since the crew remains on the surface ship, ROVs are inherently safer than manned submersibles.