MERBOTS aims at progressing in the underwater intervention systems development. To that end, we plan an extensive use of multirobot cooperation and multimodal perception systems. Nowadays, when the mission area is too deep and risky to be carried out by divers, the alternative consists in using remotely operated vehicles (ROV). This is a difficult and expensive solution requiring sophisticated support infrastructure and specialized personnel. Consequently, the use of robotic technology is normally limited to strategic or high added value operations like rescue, offshore industry or security and defense.
We propose a system and a methodology that will permit safer intervention tasks, at a lower cost, and operationally simpler. New application areas like marine archaeology at large depth can be attained, and thus, important results can be reached, not only from the economic, but also from the scientific, social or cultural points of view.