ROV Genesis | Flanders Marine Institute

Flanders Marine Institute

Platform for marine research

ROV Genesis

The Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Genesis is deployed internationally on research vessels for deep-sea research.

The remotely operated vehicle Genesis can dive to a depth of 1,400m. The ROV is therefore mainly used for deep-sea research. It provides the opportunity to explore the largely unknown deep-ocean margins and their biodiversity. Genesis is used to film and take samples from deep-sea canyons, cold-water coral reefs, carbonate mounds, mud volcanoes, cold seeps, etc.
The ROV is very compact. It is 1.4m long, 87cm wide and 1.11m high so that it fits in a ‘Tether Management System’ (dimensions: 1.95 x 1.19 x 2.37m), a kind of garage for the ROV. The TMS conveys the ROV to the seabed and there the unmanned underwater vehicle starts its sampling trip. The total weight of the ROV and the frame amounts to 1,2 tonne. The TMS and the research vessel are connected to each other through a cable, as are the ROV and the TMS. Genesis is controlled by a pilot who follows every action on screens from a container mounted on the research vessel. The ROV is powered by six propulsion motors (forward, vertical and lateral motion). The device is equipped with several lights as well as colour and black-and-white cameras which can film and take pictures. A hydraulic working arm can perform simple samplings. Depth, course, height, swell and slope are continuously registered, as are the temperature, turbidity and chlorophyll content of the water.



ROV Genesis has been operational since 2006. The remotely operated vehicle  and accompanying equipment were purchased by Ghent University and put into use by the Renard Centre for Marine Geology and the Marine Biology Section. In 2012 Ghent University donated ROV Genesis to VLIZ, which ensures the management and the operations of the ROV. A practical cooperation agreement between VLIZ and NIOZ (Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research) has been concluded to facilitate the management and deployment of ROV Genesis.

If you as a scientist make use of the marine scientific infrastructure and equipment made available by VLIZ, please refer to this in your publications, in particular when using ROV Genesis.

In case of questions regarding operations and use, please contact Wim Versteeg by e-mail or by calling + 32 (0)59 34 01 79.