Communication in robot swarms and bio-inspired robots were recently cited as two of the major challenges facing the robotics industry. Fall River, Mass.-based Aquabotix is addressing both of those issues head on with its new SwarmDiver, a hybrid unmanned surface vehicle (USV) and unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV).
Each SwarmDiver drone is 29.5 inches long, weighs 3.7 pounds, and dives down more than 150 feet. Two brushless DC motors power the SwarmDiver’s propellers, moving the drone up to 4.9 MPH. The SwarmDiver has a battery life of about 2.5 hours, which Aquabotix says enables it to travel 4.3 miles per charge.
The drone measures temperature and pressure and can be tracked via GPS to within 3.3 feet. The SwarmDiver wirelessly transmits the data it captures once it returns to the surface.
So, what can SwarmDiver be used for? Aquabotix says applications include defense and security, environmental monitoring, harbor management, plume tracking, research and more.
“Maritime swarming is rapidly becoming an area of focus for naval forces globally,” said Whitney Million, Aquabotix’s Chief Executive Officer. “SwarmDiver advances amphibious warfare tactics as it is engineered to handle dynamic operational situations, including Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions and sophisticated, coordinated assaults through tracking, trailing and overwhelming targets.”
As for the swarming functionality, Aquabotix is somewhat vague on details. It does say one human operator on the surface can control “multiple SwarmDivers” simultaneously as single, coordinated entity. In the video above, you can see a school of nearly 30 SwarmDivers working together.
The SwarmDiver uses swarming algorithms that allow several different formations and simultaneous data capture. There’s also a “Return Home” function that brings each SwarmDiver back to the surface
in a single file.
You can meet Aquabotix at our Robotics Summit and Showcase May 23-24 in Boston. The Robotics Summit is an educational event that addresses the technical issues involved with developing the next generation of commercial robots and intelligent systems. Aquabotix COO Derek Daly will be featured on the panel “Wheels, Treads or Fins? DFx Optimizes Robot Manufacturing” that will examine how to rely on DFx to optimize product design, supply chain and assembly processes to simplify, accelerate and reduce the cost of manufacturing.
Early bird registration for the Robotics Summit ends April 20. Register by the early bird deadline to save 20% on your registration. Register today, save 20%, and come learn more about Aquabotix and other leaders in robotics.
Aquabotix hasn’t released pricing details about the SwarmDiver yet, but it is taking orders.
Engineering the Future of Robotics
Register for the Robotics Summit and Showcase (May 23-24, Boston) by April 20 and save 20% with early bird registration. Learn from and network with the best minds in robotics and unlock the keys to developing next-gen commercial robotics systems.