Underwater robotics company UUV Aquabotix has secured a contract to support a US Navy project that involves further development of the company’s SwarmDiver product.
The contract is valued at $70,000 and will support the initial development project that will conclude with testing and demonstration to US Navy personnel.
In April last year, the company commercially launched SwarmDiver, a micro unmanned surface vehicle (USV) and unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) that can operate in large numbers as a collective.
Aquabotix CEO Whitney Million said: “This is a second project involving SwarmDiver and the US Navy in the last seven months. SwarmDiver can be used broadly, in numerous mission types.
“This development contract will provide greater flexibility in the systems’ use while maintaining the benefits of conducting an unmanned mission. Aquabotix is excited to once again be afforded the opportunity to support the US Navy while expanding its own capabilities.”
Multiple SwarmDivers can be deployed simultaneously as a single coordinated group to gather valuable intelligence. The vehicles can perform dives to a depth of 50m and can be controlled by one human operator on the surface.
Weighing around 1.7kg and spanning 75cm in length, SwarmDiver offers vertical dive capabilities and can operate as both a UUV and a USV.
In addition, the vehicle provides wireless data feedback upon surfacing and allows for sustained surf zone operations.
In June last year, Aquabotix signed a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) with the US Navy for testing and demonstrating the SwarmDiver micro USV.
Under the agreement, the company will have access to the Naval Undersea Warfare Center’s (NUWC) Narragansett Bay Test Facility, including its testing ranges and personnel.
Aquabotix has operations in Sydney, Australia, and Fall River, Massachusetts, US. The company manufactures and sells commercial and industrial-grade underwater drones for commercial and military applications.