SwarmDiver synchronised drones could help ocean research and naval forces perform surveillance and reconnaissance missions and coordinated assaults through tracking and overwhelming targets


US firm Aquabotix has released SwarmDiver, a micro unmanned surface vehicle (USV) and unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) that operates in a swarm.

SwarmDivers can also be used for harbour management, oceanography and research and have a max dive depth of 50 meters.

Multiple SwarmDivers can function simultaneously as a single coordinated entity, be controlled via one operator on the surface, and perform dives on command. The SwarmDivers can be used for collecting ocean research and for defence and surveillance work.

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Whitney Million, Aquabotix’s chief executive officer, said: “This vehicle is a game-changer for both the industry and Aquabotix. Until today, there were simply no micro hybrid USV/UUV vehicles and no swarming unmanned vehicles with diving capabilities, commercially available in the industry.

Maritime swarming is rapidly becoming an area of focus for naval forces globally, and SwarmDiver leads a revolution in underwater technologies. SwarmDiver advances amphibious warfare tactics as it is engineered to handle dynamic operational situations.”

Robotics and unmanned drone technology hit maritime news again last week when it was revealed the RNLI and Maritime and Coastguard Agency is trialling drones to evaluate and test how they could be used to help save lives at sea.

The drones have been nicknamed the ‘underwater Terminators’. They transfer data wirelessly and work in open ocean and in surf.

Aquabotix is based in Sydney, Australia and Massachusetts, USA, manufactures and sells commercial and industrial-grade underwater drones.

Watch more drones in action: lifeguard drones are being used in Sydney to drop life aids to people in the water who are in trouble.