Will an underwater robot ever replace the diver? A rather poor progress or a great success?

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Abstract

The article deals with the subject matter related to the development of underwater works technologies. Nearly 15 years ago one of the authors of this study published a material in the monthly magazine of “Podwodny Świat” (The Underwater World) entitled “The Future of Underwater Technologies – the diver or the robot?” where he noted that the time of great changes in technologies aimed at researching the depths and conducting works under water has arrived. This new era mainly consists in the fact that on an increasing number of occasions the diver is replaced by an underwater robot. The presented material constitutes an attempt to provide an answer to the question whether the then posed thesis is still valid. In the article the authors discuss issues concerned with the development of techniques and technologies applied in the conquest of depths that leads them to the conclusion that the previously observed tendency of a double-tracked development of underwater technologies is gaining in strength, which causes that the works and exploration of bodies of water at great depths will be possible only with the use of unmanned techniques.

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