Digital Ocean

Innovation applied to ocean discovery and exploration accessible for all


DigitalOceanDiscovery of ocean depths concerns every one of us. Recent developments of new technologies, of underwater robotic and of GPS are changing dramatically the way people perceive oceans, not anymore from their surfaces, but through their depths, not in immersion but on-line, not deferred but in real time. New technologies are now capable of challenging traditional scuba diving by creating an innovative form of diving, based on science and technology, not on bravery – virtual diving in real time. Navigating freely in the oceanic realm, a dream rooted on man’s origins, is now accessible to all. Smart autonomous robots are used to collect underwater digital data that generate sceneries of undersea in 3D interactive imagery.

Then, these preprocessed background productions are merged, through mixed reality, with real time 2D videos taken by other distant underwater remote controlled robots teleoperated via the internet, and diffused on-line.

To further enhance virtual diving experience, are integrated in the system a serious video game, a wiki-editing and e-learning platforms, linked with marine specialists. Divers themselves will build their immersed world, keeping virtual sites mirroring real sites, continuously updated and improving in realism. With Digital Ocean, the discovery of the other two thirds of our planet’s immersed territories will become eventually and irreversibly reachable.




Video of the R&D project (FP7-RSME)


Distant virtual diving

Teleoperating remote ROV from internet


VirtualDive has also developed the concept of distant virtual diving”. Our web based underwater robot teleoperation module, will allow the net surfers to practice and then take control, of the distant Remote Operated Vehicle (R.O.V). It will be therefore possible, for anybody connected to the web, to virtually and simultaneously dive with real scuba divers, diving in a real spot, anywhere in the world.After practicing virtual underwater robot control, based on the dedicated simulation application of the Digital Ocean portal, net surfers, from all over the planet, will be able to participate in distant diving events, located in a real site. A mini robot, equipped with cameras, is immersed underwater from the dive charter, live a board vessel or the shore. It will be operated by a member of the staff staying at the surface. Once the robot under water, the operator will remotely follow the divers and the instructors, during their subaquatic exploration. The live video provided by the embedded R.O.V camera, will be broadcasted online on

Web surfers connected to this website, will be able to follow the divers exploration, distantly from their homes. If initially they have successfully practiced virtual R.O.V control, they will be allowed to teleoperate the real robot, and explore the subaquatic world as if they were physically present underwater with the real scuba divers…

Simultaneously, they will be able to post the collected audiovisual information, gathered with the R.O.V, on the Digital Ocean’s collaborative platform, and thus participate, in real time to the virtual mapping of the spot. This innovative animation can also be proposed to the local resorts and hotels clients, or schools, hospitals and any public places, far away the diving spot.