“The submarine pipeline inspection with close eyes (Spice) vehicle is being tested in Japanese waters under the umbrella of the US’s long-running DeepStar programme, the aim of which is to catalyse development of technologies required to support deepwater exploration and production.

The trials of Spice, Kawasaki’s pathfinder second generation AUV, began late last year and are being funded by the Nippon Foundation.

They are expected to continue until March.”