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WSJ: Underwater Drones Are Multiplying Fast (video)

Updated June 24, 2013, 7:55 p.m. ET

The next army of unmanned drones are scurrying beneath the ocean's surface.

Hundreds of small camera-equipped robots developed by a range of companies are sending video and other data to laptop and tablet screens above.

What began as a niche industry for wealthy hobbyists has matured into a fast-growing market catering to a wide variety of industries and government agencies.
Unmanned marine vehicles have been around for years—the U.S. Navy and the Coast Guard, for example, use them to help detect mines and thwart drug smugglers. Big military contractors such as Boeing Co. BA -2.13% and General Dynamics Corp. GD +0.37% offer torpedo-like underwater vehicles for the military and other government agencies.

Now, a new wave of independent......