Underwater Autonomous Drone Tech Part of Subsea Robotics Center

Launched by Advanced Navigation, Australia’s largest subsea facility is hoped to accelerate development of underwater technologies, including its autonomous underwater robot, Hydrus.

Scarlett Evans, Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

May 2, 2023

2 Min Read
Advanced Navigation

Australia’s largest subsea robotics center has opened in Balcatta, Western Australia.

Situated on a 5.5-acre plot, the facility was established by AI and robotics company Advanced Navigation and is intended to accelerate the development and rollout of underwater technologies. Among the tech for development is Advanced Navigation’s underwater robot Hydrus.

Hydrus is an underwater autonomous drone that “makes underwater surveying easy and affordable,” using sonar and data capture to provide real-time insight into underwater environments.

The robot is currently being used by the University of Western Australia (UWA) Ocean Institute to monitor the efficacy of artificial reefs.

“At UWA we are researching how natural and artificial reef structures can protect coastlines by dissipating wave energy,” said  Justin Geldard, UWA’s coastal and ocean researcher. “Hydrus is a key tool in mapping and surveying these underwater structures. The technology makes more efficient use of our funds and ultimately scales up our ability to collect high-resolution data.”

Aside from Hydrus, Advanced Navigation has a pipeline of sonar technologies, andpressure-tolerant and AI-based autonomous systems that it hopes to apply to underwater industries such as offshore renewable energy, transportation, surveillance, biotechnology and high-tech services.

The team also plans to establish an underwater artificial intelligence division, aided by research at the new facility which includes full testing facilities with several marine simulation environments.

“The new subsea center will help Advanced Navigation meet the growing demand for high-grade underwater data, bringing new and existing solutions to market far more quickly and efficiently,” said Xavier Orr, Advanced Navigation CEO. “With the goal to grow our subsea team threefold, we are confident this investment will deepen and advance our understanding of the oceans." 

The subsea center is just one of several investments made recently by Advanced Navigation. The company has already established research centers throughout Australia, including an aerial drone facility in Brisbane, a photonic and laser center in Canberra, and a quantum sensing center in Newcastle.

About the Author(s)

Scarlett Evans

Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

Scarlett Evans is the assistant editor for IoT World Today, with a particular focus on robotics and smart city technologies. Scarlett has previous experience in minerals and resources with Mine Australia, Mine Technology and Power Technology. She joined Informa in April 2022.

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