During Hydro12, Mark Heine (Fugro) showed some insights in the development of the techniques that reach out the way hydrography may develop, one of them being autonomous hydrographic survey. For example by using gliders, as the Wave Glider. This instrument moves autonomously in the ocean or can stay in one location, capable to measure a variety of data. It can stay out there for a longer time as it uses solar panels to top up the energy it needs.
Manufacturer Liquid Robotics featured in an article in Hydro International in January/February 2012.