New Wave Media

May 1, 2018

Shape-shifting Underwater Robot Unveiled

  • (Photo: Houston Mechatronics)
  • (Photo: Houston Mechatronics)
  • (Photo: Houston Mechatronics)
  • (Photo: Houston Mechatronics)
  • Aquanaut is able to transform from an AUV to an ROV (Photo: Houston Mechatronics)
  • (Photo: Houston Mechatronics)
(Photo: Houston Mechatronics)
  • (Photo: Houston Mechatronics)
(Photo: Houston Mechatronics)
  • (Photo: Houston Mechatronics)
(Photo: Houston Mechatronics)
  • (Photo: Houston Mechatronics)
(Photo: Houston Mechatronics)
  • Aquanaut is able to transform from an AUV to an ROV (Photo: Houston Mechatronics) Aquanaut is able to transform from an AUV to an ROV (Photo: Houston Mechatronics)

A Texas based tech company started by team of former NASA roboticists has unveiled a new multipurpose underwater robot unlike any other on the market.

Aquanaut is a new subsea vehicle that employs a patented shape-shifting transformation from an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) to a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), removing the need for vessels and tethers.

According to Aquanaut’s developer Houston Mechatronics, the vehicle enables both the efficient collection of data over long distances as well as manipulation of subsea objects – at a cost that’s significantly lower than today’s technology.

“We firmly believe that this technology is a revolution in subsea robotics,” said Houston Mechatronics CEO, Matthew Ondler. “Aquanaut, and our tightly coupled over-the-horizon software Commander, enables Houston Mechatronics to deliver more feature rich, safer subsea services to commercial and defense customers that demand it.”

“Aquanaut was designed to operate over-the-horizon with onshore operator supervision. We have removed the need for onsite vessels (and people) from subsea work while still maintaining the operator’s situational awareness and the ability to modify missions, which our customers demand,” Ondler sad.

“Our capability can truly transform industries. For the warfighter, this means increasing the standoff distance therefore resulting in safer conditions. For commercial customers, this means that we can provide more capability than they have today for much less cost.”

“Our team developed some of the most advanced robots that NASA ever produced and has been developing advanced subsea robotics technology for confidential customers for years. Aquanaut represents the pinnacle of our company’s expertise and experience and we are beyond excited to introduce this vehicle to customers.”

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
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