"Once an UAV is under water it has to take its own decisions. Therefore it has a higher level of intelligence than drones. A powerful on-board computer is part of the machine," Kumar said. The robots are also programmed to handle emergencies on their own.
"It may face obstacles under the water and so it is programmed how to act in case of an emergency," the fourth-year undergraduate student of Ocean Engineering and Naval Architecture department said.
Even in the case of the doomed Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 which went missing last year in the Indian Ocean, UAVs were assigned to locate the debris inside the sea.
In India, the first such indigenous UAV was developed at the IIT a few years ago. Since then other institutes have also developed prototypes but real-life applications are still far away.