US Navy funds underwater drone swarms

Aquabotix unveils its SwarmDiver, a micro unmanned surface vehicle and unmanned underwater vehicle at Sea-Air-Space at National Harbor, Md. WASHINGTON ― The U.S. Navy has awarded a grant to an underwater drone producer to help the service locate “unexploded ordnance.”

The SwarmDiver can record temperature, depth and salinity, and can be used for “external navigation and positioning, mine countermeasures, port security, harbor management and torpedo countermeasures,” according to Whitney Million, Aquabotix CEO.

The 3.7-pound, 30-inch drones are deployed into the water from a boat, and then centrally controlled from a human operator to move in coordination with each other. The SwarmDiver can drop to a depth of up to 164 feet.

“Aquabotix’s products are the platform for the solution to this immediate military need,” Million said, “and we look forward to this first phase of our cooperation with the Navy.”

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