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An ROV is a Remotely Operated Vehicle. 

Many industry sectors use ROVs:  NASA and other space agencies use ROVs for space exploration; The Military use ROVs for disarming bombs; The Nuclear Industry uses ROVs for carrying out tasks in radioctive areas; Marine Biologists and other researchers use ROVs to collect subsea data; the Telecommunications and Power Industries use ROVs to install and maintain their subsea cables; and of course the Oil and Gas Industry uses ROVs to install and maintain their subsea installations

 

 Exploring INNER space:

The Oil and Gas Industry use of ROVs draws our focus:  With limited funding dictated by market forces, ROV companies servicing the Oil and Gas Industry have dominated the ROV genre with large numbers of commercially competetive machines servicing the burgeoning workload.  Nonetheless, the more glamorous representations of ROVs, such as the documentary: 'Discovering The Titanic', and the blockbuster movie: 'The Abyss', have popularised them, rather than the relatively mundane business of day-to-day ROV operations.  That said, the recent dramas in the Gulf of Mexico have highlighted the difficulties of conducting (very) Remote subsea operations using ROVs. 

...Whatever the genre, ROVs share the same technical, operational, and design motivation roots: They are robotic machines, carrying out tasks, or gathering sought-after data at the request of the operators or controllers sited in a remote station or base, via a communications link (which may be wireless or umbilical'/cable); designed, shaped, and fabricated for mobility and functionality; suited to their selected environment and tasks therein; intended to work in those areas considered either too dangerous, too remote, or simply too expensive, for man.

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