Folks from MIT’s Autonomous Underwater Vehicles Lab have created the Odyssey IV, another AUV in the latest of a long line of AUVs. The Odyssey IV can go down to a depth of 6,000 feet and hover anywhere in between. It has been tested of off Woods Hole in Massachusetts.
The ability to hover in one spot is great for taking photos or if outfitted with an arm, great for turning valves. The MIT Sea Grant Program director Chryssostomos Chryssostomidis compares Odyssey IV to a helicopter,
Like a giant helicopter, this can pick up cargo underwater.
Most AUVs or submarines have to constantly move either forwards or backwards and cannot hover in place. They hope to make the Odyssey IV able to transmit data back to us humans on boat or land for up to a full year, without the need for surfacing.
Check out the Odyssey IV in ROV mode here.