Underwater Robotics Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Underwater Robotics Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Type (ROV, AUV), By Application (Commercial Exploration, Defense & Security, Scientific Research), By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2018 - 2025

  • Published Date: Aug, 2018
  • Base Year for Estimate: 2017
  • Report ID: GVR-2-68038-421-5
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Data: 2015 - 2017
  • Number of Pages: 143

Industry Insights

The global underwater robotics market size was estimated at USD 2.52 billion in 2017 and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 13.5% from 2018 to 2025. The potential use in underwater surveillance and offshore oil and gas exploration is expected to boost market growth over the forecast period. For instance, Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) are extensively used for drilling, development, repair, and maintenance operations for offshore oil and gas exploration, while overcoming the limitations of human subsea divers.

Moreover, growing adoption of robotics in defense and security application is expected to drive market growth over the next few years. Robotics has been used in manufacturing over the past few years. Tremendous development over the years have made them more sophisticated and reliable for military and law enforcement application.

U.S. underwater robotics market

Traditionally, a submarine alone has been an important system for underwater surveillance. However, advancements in underwater robotics have provided additional equipment for underwater surveillance. Governments across different countries are investing in this technology for advanced military applications such as intelligence, surveillance, investigation, mine countermeasure, oceanography, communication/navigation, anti-submarine warfare, and others. For instance, in July 2017, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) signed a contract of USD 4.6 Million with BAE Systems.to develop Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) to supplement manned submarines, aiding them to detect targets by sending sonar pulses.

Navigation and communication is one of the major problems when it comes to deployment of underwater robotics. It is often difficult to address these issues. In underwater communication, information is transmitted using electromagnetic (EM), free-space optical (FSO) or sound waves. The use of sound waves for communication below surface water can be severely affected by surface ambient noise and temperature gradients.

Electromagnetic waves do not perform optimally in underwater atmosphere, particularly in seawater owing to its conducting nature. The FSO waves are used as a carrier for wireless communication underwater. However, it is restricted to very short distances. In addition, high power is required for underwater communication owing to extra complex signal processing. Hence, difficulties in communication and navigation in deep water conditions are expected to limit adoption of underwater robots over the forecast period.

Type Insights

The market has been categorized by type into ROV and Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV).ROV was the dominant segment, accounting for over 86.0% market share in 2017.However, the ROVs are expected to lose market share and AUVs are expected to gain traction over the next seven years. Growth of ROV segment is attributed to rising offshore deep sea oil and drilling industry owing to its capability to perform undersea operations such as drilling, equipment assembling, underwater repair, and maintenance.

The AUV segment is projected to witness significant growth over the forecast period. It is driven by increasing demand and adoption in defense applications such as surveillance, mine counter measurement, anti-warfare application, and others. Moreover, potential use in ocean floor mapping, testing water samples, polar ice research, and pipeline inspection is expected to further drive expansion over the forecast period.

Application Insights

On the basis of application, the underwater robotics market is segmented into defense and security, commercial exploration, scientific research, and others. Commercial exploration was the dominant segment in 2017. It is expected to expand at a CAGR of 14.8% over the forecast period.

Asia Pacific underwater robotics market

The growth is attributed to rising use in offshore oil and gas exploration as well as in undersea mineral exploration activity.Underwater robotics is one of the important technologies miners use to explore deep sea mineral wealth. Mining companies are leveraging robotics technology to extract the rich mineral deposits under seabed. For instance, a Canadian company Nautilus Minerals is planning to deploy underwater robots to extract minerals such as gold, silver, and copper at the depth of 1,600 m near the Papua New Guinea waters.

Regional Insights

Europe led the market, generating USD 855.6 million revenue in 2017. The region is anticipated to contribute substantially to the global share owing to growing offshore oil and gas exploration activities in European countries. For instance, in May 2018, oil firm Lukoil of Russia completed construction of third well in Filanovsky field of the Caspian Sea in the Russian sector.

However, Asia Pacific is expected to witness substantial growth of over the forecast period, owing to growing use of underwater robotics in defense and oil and gas exploration activities in countries such as China, India, South Korea and Japan.

Underwater Robotics Market Share Insights

There is strong competition in the market owing to the presence of established as well as small players offering different types of ROV and AUV products. The market was dominated by established players. However, companies with innovative products are challenging these players. Underwater robotics providers are using strategies like new product development and acquisitions to broaden their product portfolio and strengthen their market position.

For instance,in October 2016, Oceaneering International, Inc. announced expansion of AUV operations in West Africa region to support its existing and new customers. Other potential players in the market include Bluefin Robotics Corp, International Submarine Engineering,Schilling Robotics, LLC,Saab AB, and Inuktun Services Ltd.

Report Scope



Base year for estimation


Actual estimates/Historical data

2015 - 2017

Forecast period

2018 - 2025

Market representation

Revenue in USD Million and CAGR from 2018 to 2025

Regional scope

North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Middle East & Africa

Country scope

U.S., Canada, Germany, U.K., Russia, France, China, India, Japan, Australia, Brazil, Mexico

Report coverage

Revenue forecast, company share, competitive landscape, growth factors and trends

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Segments Covered in the Report

This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2015 to 2025. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global underwater robotics market report on the basis of type, application, and region:

  • Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)

    • Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV)

    • Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV)

  • Application Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)

    • Defense & Security

    • Commercial Exploration

    • Scientific Research

    • Others

  • Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million 2014 - 2025)

    • North America

      • U.S.

      • Canada

    • Europe

      • Germany

      • U.K.

      • France

      • Russia

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • India

      • Japan

      • Australia

    • Latin America

      • Brazil

      • Mexico

    • Middle East & Africa

Key questions answered by the report
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