Bluefin Robotics News

A Hugin AUV being launched (Courtesy Kongsberg)

Unmanned Vehicles: 25 Years of Milestones

program supported by these vehicles, sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR), was known as the Autonomous Ocean Sampling Network. This pioneered designs for docking AUVs. Experiments in seafloor mapping and mine hunting were also conducted during the first ten years of the AUV Lab. In 1997 Bluefin Robotics was founded to transition these ideas into industry, the first of many commercial AUV manufacturers to follow.The Odyssey technology developments touched upon all domains. The core developments in unmanned vehicle control inspired today’s software communities. In particular the Mission

(Photo: Jayne Doucette, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

WHOI Test Site Aims to Boost Marine Robotics Sector

underwater vehicles was $2.2 billion in 2015, but is expected to grow to $4.6 billion by 2020. Cape Cod and the South Coast of Massachusetts are hotbeds for the development of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), as the Commonwealth is home to numerous industry leading companies, including Bluefin Robotics in Quincy, Hydroid in Pocasset, and McLane Research Laboratories in Falmouth

Knifefish mine countermeasure UUV (Photo: General Dynamics Mission Systems)

Knifefish UUV Completes Sea Acceptance Tests

the operators with an opportunity to become familiarized with the Knifefish system and become proficient at operating and maintaining the system during the upcoming evaluations.As prime contractor for the Knifefish program, General Dynamics Mission Systems designed the tactical UUV based on the Bluefin Robotics Bluefin-21 deep-water Autonomous Undersea Vehicle (AUV) using an open architecture concept that can be quickly and efficiently modified to accommodate a wide range of missions.Knifefish operates as an off-board sensor capable of autonomously detecting, classifying and identifying buried, bottom

(Photo: General Dynamics Mission Systems)

GD Mission Systems: Full-throttle Charge toward Autonomy

using an open architecture concept that can be quickly and efficiently modified to accommodate a wide range of missions that may face future naval operations. The Knifefish UUV, which is intended for deployment from Navy vessels such as the Littoral Combat Ship, is based on the General Dynamics Bluefin Robotics Bluefin-21 deep-water autonomous undersea vehicle).   So concisely, what is unique about the KnifeFish platform? Two things. I’ve already told you that we have brought it to where it is a producible, usable, reliable – and at a price point – that nothing else is (at)

U.S. Navy Knifefish mine countermeasures UUV swims along the surface off the coast of Boston during final contractor sea trials earlier this fall. (Photo: General Dynamics Mission Systems)

Knifefish UUV Completes Contractor Trials

UUV using an open architecture concept that can be quickly and efficiently modified to accommodate a wide range of missions that may face future naval operations. The Knifefish UUV, which is intended for deployment from Navy vessels such as the Littoral Combat Ship, is based on the General Dynamics Bluefin Robotics Bluefin-21 deep-water autonomous undersea vehicle (AUV). It is designed to reduce risk to personnel by operating in the minefield as an off-board sensor while the host ship stays outside the minefield boundaries.   "This round of contractor testing demonstrated the continued improvement

Martin Klein with a Klein  multibeam side scan sonar. “We were proud that side scan was able to finally replace the old wire drag technology.” (courtesy Martin Klein and the MIT Museum)

Klein's Side Scan Sonar, Then and Now

involved for many years with Sea Grant. The Sea Grant program is also 50 years old this year. And I’ve been involved with it in various ways since it began in 1967, especially at MIT and the University of New Hampshire. A lot of the autonomous vehicle technology was developed at MIT. The company Bluefin [Robotics] got its start as spinoff from MIT Sea Grant, and so I think that is making a big difference in our abilities to do ocean exploration.   Are there any technologies in development now that you’re keeping an eye on or see as particularly exciting? MK: I keep an eye out

U.S. Navy mine test targets being readied for Knifefish at-sea mine-hunting evaluation (Photo: General Dynamics Mission Systems)

US Navy Tests UUV for Mine-hunting Operations

is the prime contractor for the Knifefish program. The company designed the tactical UUV using an open architecture concept that can be quickly and efficiently modified to accommodate a wide range of missions that may face future naval operations. The Knifefish UUV is based on the General Dynamics Bluefin Robotics Bluefin-21 deep-water AUV. 

The Bluefin SandShark is a one-person-portable, low-cost autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) designed to leverage today’s miniaturized sensors and small enough to be carried in a backpack. (Credit: General Dynamics Mission Systems)

Bluefin SandShark AUV is Ready to Order

and dive down to 200 meters (656 feet). The tail section of the Bluefin SandShark houses the battery and system electronics and is designed to leave most of the vehicle open for the user to customize with sensors and other mission critical payloads. The Bluefin SandShark joins the company’s Bluefin Robotics family of autonomous underwater products.   “Compared to other small AUVs, the Bluefin SandShark offers customers the most flexibility and diverse mission capabilities at a very affordable cost,” said Carlo Zaffanella, vice president and general manager of Maritime and Strategic

Kraken, Square Robot Form Robotics Partnership

with Square Robot, Inc. for the design, manufacture and support of advanced sensors and robotic systems for confined area inspection applications used by the worldwide oil and gas industry.   The Boston headquartered Square Robot is a privately-held robotics company recently created by former Bluefin Robotics Corporation executives Eric Levitt, Dr. Jerome Vaganay and William O’Halloran that is building a service-based business for confined area inspection applications. Working in conjunction with Square Robot, Kraken will co-develop a series of robotic devices that will use advanced acoustic

Mineman 3rd Class John Stephen-Torres, Commander, Task Group (CTG) 56.1, observes data from a MK 18 MOD 2 UUV for a training evolution during a mine countermeasures squadron exercise (SQUADEX) aboard the Bay-class landing dock ship Cardigan Bay (L3009) of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. CTG 56.1 conducts mine countermeasures, explosive ordnance disposal, salvage-diving, and force protection operations throughout the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Jonah Stepanik)

Unmanned Underwater Vehicles: Is Bigger Better?

Many proprietary systems can mean that most of them will not truly mature.    “Successful system integration and true modularity don’t come from just designing to requirements – they require a different mindset,” said Ethan Butler, Director of Strategic Systems at Bluefin Robotics in Quincy, Mass.    “It’s vital to be thinking ‘modular’ from the very beginning, so that when the time comes to adapt to a different mission or payload you don’t find yourself fighting against design decisions that only work for one.”   Bluefin

General Dynamics Mission Systems Acquires Bluefin Robotics

PRESS RELEASE: General Dynamics Mission Systems has acquired Bluefin Robotics, a manufacturer of unmanned undersea vehicles (UUVs) that perform a wide range of missions for the U.S. military and commercial customers. “Bluefin’s advanced underwater technologies and products are perfectly aligned with our expertise in undersea system integration,” said Chris Marzilli, president of General Dynamics Mission Systems. “We have long specialized in many of the technologies that are making UUVs increasingly effective, and have strong credentials integrating UUVs into naval platforms

EOD HULS MK19 Systems 4 and 5 vehicles (Photo courtesy of Bluefin Robotics)

Hull Inspection Systems Delivered to the US Navy

Bluefin Robotics has delivered new vehicles to the U.S. Navy that aim to increase the Navy's capability to remotely search and investigate ship hulls, harbor sea floors and other underwater infrastructure for limpet mines, Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and other objects of interest.   The Navy accepted delivery of Bluefin Robotics’ ship hull inspection systems 4 and 5 under the “Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Hull Unmanned Underwater Vehicle Localization System” (EOD HULS) Program of Record, in February.   Each EOD HULS System (known as MK19), consists of two

The Musashi carried two 15-ton anchors. The starboard anchor remains in place. (Photo: Paul Allen)

AUV Helps Locate Sunken Japanese Warship

Bluefin Robotics underwater robot helps locate historic sunken Japanese battleship Musashi; located by philanthropist and entrepreneur Paul G. Allen, aided by advanced undersea technology    Bluefin Robotics underwater autonomous vehicles (AUV) scour the ocean floors around the world looking for items critical to the defense industry, oceanographic researchers and the oil and gas industry. Most recently, a Bluefin vehicle was used by Paul G. Allen and his team of researchers in their search for the sunken Japanese battleship Musashi, the largest battleship in naval history. Allen and his

Autonomy Takes Off Underwater

key sensors and equipment. This enables operators to mobilize the vehicle without the need for calibration on site, as it is sent from the factory all set up and ready to go. The result is a compact AUV capable of a full range of commercial survey tasks including pipe tracking. Byus, Bluefin Bluefin Robotics is known for leveraging its mature vehicle technologies to provide customized autonomous underwater vehicles that solve our customers’ unique challenges.  Primarily serving the global defense and commercial market sectors, Bluefin offers both survey class and inspection class AUVs

Photo: Battelle

Subsea Camera Integrated with ROV

Battelle’s HorizonVue camera demonstrates undersea 360-degree views from an undersea robot   For the first time, Battelle’s HorizonVue undersea camera was integrated with a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) as part of a demo in the Quincy Shipyard, home of Battelle’s Bluefin Robotics.    The new camera allowed operators to see the harbor floor, a nearby hull and navigate through submerged pilings using a 360-degree live video feed. The instrument can operate at the ocean’s surface or down to depths of 4,500 meters, withstanding pressure of 6,575 pounds

Fred Byus (Photo: Battelle)

Battelle Unifies Maritime Technologies Leadership Structure

Positions Battelle, Bluefin Robotics and SeeByte to offer market-driven innovation to government and commercial customers   Battelle’s maritime technologies range will now be housed under one leadership structure lead by Rear Admiral Fred Byus, USN (Ret.) “to better meet the accelerating growth of the government and commercial maritime technology markets,” the company announced.   Battelle said it has seen accelerating growth in the government and commercial maritime technology markets over the last decade and has undergone expansion—both organically and through

Photo courtesy of Engineered Syntactic Systems

ESS Buoyancy Solutions for Bluefin Robotics AUVs

Engineered Syntactic Systems (ESS), a global supplier of syntactic solutions, provides syntactic buoyancy for Bluefin Robotics Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), including the 4,500 meter Atremis 21 used in the ongoing search for missing Malaysian Airline’s Flight 370. The Bluefin 21 was designed for extended remote operations in the hostile conditions of the deep sea. At 21 inches in diameter, space for uplift (buoyancy) is limited, but critical. ESS said it worked closely with Bluefin to engineer a buoyancy solution that would meet their design specifications, providing a syntactic

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