The Future of Ocean Robotics

The Future of Ocean Robotics
Testing prototype tetherless ROV using OPENSEA Edge (Image credit: GreenseaIQ)

The future of ocean robotics necessitates a fundamental transformation. In the pursuit of expanding human exploration and operation in the Earth's oceans, it is imperative to not merely incorporate automation and robotics but to introduce autonomous systems that fundamentally alter our established operational paradigms.

The current practice of deploying human crews to operate remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) aboard ships is fiscally unsustainable due to its exorbitant cost, extreme risk, and limited scalability.

Greensea IQ has embarked on an initiative to reshape the way we interact with ocean robotics. Taking advantage of 17 years of development, our comprehensive open architecture operating system, OPENSEA, is ready to deliver advanced autonomy and over-the-horizon supervision technologies to platforms facing big challenges. These efforts have been met with success: we have effectively deployed OPENSEA-enabled products in various industry segments, including maritime and EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), creating immediate impact through the application of OPENSEA in these markets.


Greensea IQ’s mission has always been to make our world safer, especially when it comes to MCM and EOD. For years, our EOD Workspace has been the preferred ROV operating system for EOD units around the world; it has enhanced the way we send out advanced robots and autonomous systems to survey areas for mines, but clearance divers have still been required to dive into the water to retrieve them. However, thanks to our OPENSEA Edge computing system, we are taking our EOD Workspace, along with our command-and-control solution, Safe C2, directly onto the platform.

We're on the cusp of a breakthrough. Very soon, untethered robots will be able to search, identify, and safely manage explosive ordnance, all while being supervised by a technician who is completely out of harm's way. This exciting development promises to bring safer and more efficient solutions to action in the field.

Greensea IQ is also delivering new robotic solutions for littoral MCM, EOD, and ISR through the power of OPENSEA with the new Bayonet autonomous underwater ground vehicle (AUGV). By providing the ability to move unmanned systems into the surf, we are able to close the intelligence gap in the surf zone with real-time actionable data and give operators a new level of situational awareness near shore.


As we continue to increase our attention to harnessing safe and sustainable energy from the ocean, we realize that we need a fresh approach to maintenance, construction, and servicing. The traditional methods we have relied on for offshore oil and gas no longer fit the bill for renewable energy sources. The costs just don't add up. For instance, sending offshore supply vessels to wind farms ranging from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars per day simply isn't feasible for effectively servicing these installations.

Our oceans, beaches, and coastal regions are unfortunately marred by remnants of past conflicts, the aftermath of battles, and wartime preparations. The removal of unexploded ordnance is a daunting challenge in the development of these resources offshore. However, the solution lies in autonomy, which we currently provide in the versatile Bayonet AUGV platforms; they are capable of autonomous cable lane survey and pre-construction UXO clearance for Offshore Wind developers.

By minimizing the human component and employing autonomous vessels and resident subsea vehicles, we can truly unlock the potential of offshore renewable energy. Greensea IQ is at the forefront of this transformation.


The scientific community has embraced OPENSEA, Greensea IQ's open architecture platform. For years, we have collaborated with prestigious organizations like the Schmidt Ocean Institute and MBARI, providing software and technology expertise to various scientific institutions and deep-sea research vehicles worldwide.

In the near future, our aim is to expand OPENSEA's accessibility to the entire scientific community by establishing an open platform that science groups worldwide can utilize to enhance their efficiency and economy of scale. This initiative will enable them to share technologies and leverage our autonomy and communications innovations developed for the defense industry, thus facilitating a deeper understanding of oceanic climate change and its impact.

Climate change is hitting our coastlines and surf zone areas the hardest. To handle rising sea levels, changing wave patterns, increasing erosion, and stronger storms, we must gain a deeper grasp of these nearshore environments. Greensea IQ offers a practical solution: our Bayonet AUGV can work autonomously in surf zones, coastal areas, and even amphibious regions, creating exciting possibilities for ocean research and discovery and providing us the tools required to understand the effects of climate change on our shorelines.


Global shipping, which includes cargo ships, container vessels, and other maritime transport, contributes to a significant portion of carbon emissions. Reducing the carbon emissions from worldwide shipping is essential to mitigating the impact of climate change and achieving the global sustainability goal of net-zero shipping by 2050.

Greensea IQ introduced EverClean to literally clean up shipping by providing a economical, safe, and repeatable solution to hull fouling and the performance and fuel penalties it causes. EverClean commercializes a technology that leverages our proprietary navigation technology. This technology empowers robots to navigate and traverse a ship's hull accurately and efficiently while collecting data for EverClean IQ, the hull monitoring portal that allows EverClean customers to monitor change detection, coating condition, and more.

Greensea IQ’s EverClean concept is nothing short of transformative; it provides immediate ROI through proactive cleaning and redefines the landscape of ship husbandry by maintaining an EverClean, or always clean, hull.

The future of ocean robotics holds immense promise and potential. Innovative developments and advancements in the field are poised to reshape the way we interact with the world's oceans. From the transformative capabilities of Greensea IQ's EverClean solution, which is revolutionizing hull maintenance, to the broader trends in autonomous underwater vehicles and their applications in marine research, offshore energy, and environmental conservation, the path forward is both exciting and challenging.

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This story was originally featured in ON&T Special Edition 2023. Click here to read more.


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