Bluefin Robotics

Posted by Irina Tabakina

553 South Street, Quincy, MA 02169
T: 617 715 7080
E: [email protected]
President: David P. Kelly
No. of Employees: 200

Company Profile:
Bluefin Robotics, a Battelle Company, develops, builds, and operates Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), subsea batteries, and related technologies for defense, commercial, and scientific customers worldwide. It offers a full range of modular, free-flooded AUV platforms having designed in more than 50 different configurations. The Bluefin team brings a unique set of skills including hard-won expertise in the application of advanced materials, systems, and technologies to real-life operating conditions. It offers research and development capabilities, technology integration, full-scale manufacturing facilities, test and evaluation infrastructure, and customer support functions from training and marine operations to logistics and full life-cycle support. Headquartered in Quincy, Massachusetts, Bluefin’s 55,000-sq. ft. facility houses three floors of engineering, manufacturing, marine operations, and corporate administrative functions. With ample space for equipment and direct ocean access, it is able to design, build and test our systems all in a single location allowing our team to work efficiently and effectively. No other provider has our depth and breadth of expertise and resources dedicated exclusively to AUV development and production. Bluefin Robotics spun-out from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1997. In 2005, the company became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Battelle and in 2013 expanded its autonomous capability portfolio with the acquisition of SeeByte of Edinburgh.
Bluefin’s product line includes the new modular Bluefin-9, the mid-size Bluefin-12, and the Bluefin-21 most recently used by the US Navy to search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in the Indian Ocean. Bluefin AUVs can be equipped with a variety of state-of-the-art payloads, collision avoidance, pipeline tracking capabilities, and Witness, Bluefin’s new communications and visualization add-on used for viewing imagery while underway. Bluefin subsea power’s power portfolio includes the production of over 500 batteries for both AUV and non-AUV applications.

Noteworthy Defense Programs:
• SMCM UUV - Knifefish is a specialized Bluefin-21 for the mine countermeasures mission package for littoral combat ships
• Next generation counter measures - This expendable UUV is a small-diameter vehicle customized specifically for torpedo defense
• SHARK ASW System – SHARK AUV is a ground-breaking anti-submarine warfare concept for the DARPA/DASH Program, leveraging Bluefin’s deep ocean technologies for persistent presence
• Proteus - this hybrid swimmer delivery/AUV platform introduces game-changing conops to subsea warfare
• HAUV-N - HAUV with a manipulator arm that serves as a mine identification and neutralization capability for use in explosive ordnance disposal.

The Case: This year, the US Navy used the Bluefin-21 for the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in a remote and very deep area of the Indian Ocean. The AUV was launched 25 times in order to collect over 850 sq. km of seafloor imagery. As a result, authorities successfully discounted the area as the final resting place of those on-board.

(As published in the July/Aug 2014 edition of Marine Technology Reporter -

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