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Remote Environmental Monitoring UnitS, or REMUS vehicles, are low-cost autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) designed by the Oceanographic Systems Lab to operate with a simple laptop computer.

Initially conceived for coastal monitoring, these torpedo-shaped vehicles are now used as platforms for a wide variety of instruments at a range of ocean depths. REMUS are particularly well suited for surveying and mapping, travelling methodically over an area like a lawnmower to sample key ocean characteristics.

REMUS vehicles use a propeller and fins for steering and diving.  After entering the water, the AUVs use acoustic navigation to independently survey an area while sensors inside sample and record data. Inside each REMUS vehicle is a control computer that functions like a miniature laptop computer.

During Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, the U.S. Navy used REMUS vehicles to detect mines in the Persian Gulf harbor of Um Qasr. Navy officers said they preferred REMUS AUVs because each could do the work of 12 to 16 human divers, and they were “undeterred by cold temperatures, murky water, sharks, or hunger.”

Another REMUS, known as the Tunnel Inspection Vehicle, was specifically adapted to survey New York City’s Delaware River Aqueduct for leaks.


REMUS 6000 Animation
REMUS: Testing sensors using dye
REMUS Slideshow

REMUS in Photos

REMUS Developers & Operators

WHOI Oceanographic Oceanographic Systems Laboratory (OSL)

The OSL is a team of engineers, technicians and staff that design and operate REMUS.

Hydroid LLC

Since 2001, several models of REMUS have been built by Hydroid in nearby Pocassett, Mass.

REMUS Partnerships

Waitt Institute for Discovery

Waitt Institute for Discovery

The Waitt Institute for Discovery and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution have joined forces to launch the CATALYST Program—an innovative approach to deep-sea exploration that makes available for the first time versatile and highly portable deep-sea survey and mapping tools and an operations team, which can be rapidly deployed anywhere in the world. At the center of this collaboration is cutting-edge technology: the Waitt Institute's two newly built Hydroid REMUS 6000 Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), which can explore depths of up to 6000 meters, or 3.7 miles, below the ocean's surface without a human crew or cables connecting them to a research vessel. With their multi-sensor platforms, the REMUS 6000s are capable of recording critical oceanographic data, photo-imaging deep-sea features, and producing detailed sonar maps of the ocean floor. » Learn more about the partnership