Underwater Robotics: Sustainable Prospecting and Exploitation of Raw Materials
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The prospecting and exploitation of underwater minerals has emerged as an important subject over recent years, due to the growing global demand for resources. Over the past decade, we've witnessed a significant global transition towards more sustainable practices and the pursuit of environmentally responsible solutions. This sought-after green transition puts pressure on the supply chain of much-needed raw materials to increase energy production and storage capacity, thereby reducing the use of fossil fuels, and consequently decreasing dependence on non-renewable natural resources. The need to explore new raw material sites and re-evaluate existing prospecting sites is increasingly becoming a key element for the success of the green transition and for reducing Europe's dependence on raw material imports. The importance of exploring raw material sites is intrinsically associated with the need to optimise the extraction and exploitation of finite resources, mitigating the environmental impact linked to these activities - in which underwater robotics plays a key role, as it is crucial for said harnessing.