Electric-powered ROVs: being developed and tested on the Tyne

On the same site where, in 1894, the Parsons Marine Steam Turbine Company set the standard for the next generation of steam ships, another Tyne-based business is setting the standard for the next generation of offshore ROVs (remotely-operated vehicles).

SMD has developed the first large, all-electric ROV from its headquarters on the banks of the Tyne.

The development has made use of Tyneside’s fast-growing digital cluster and its wealth of software engineers, designers and developers, combined with the area’s strong engineering skills.

SMD say that the Tyne’s blend of skills, test facilities and supply chain has helped to power this electrical revolution:

“Leveraging Tyneside’s strong engineering skills base and having world-class test facilities like Tyne Pressure Testing, ORE Catapult and Neptune Energy Park Deep Water Test Tank on our doorstep makes the development of new technology like our EV ROVs much easier.”


And so the Tyne’s reputation for world-changing innovations continues at SMD’s Turbinia works – named after Parsons’ Turbinia, the first ship to be powered by steam turbine.