NjordWorks Inc., a manufacturer of small unmanned vehicles, has announced the debut of the Pioneer small unmanned boat for civil and commercial use.
The Pioneer unmanned boat, or unmanned surface vehicle (USV), lives up to its name as being the first in a class of small unmanned vehicles designed for very shallow and difficult to access bodies of water. Like other unmanned vehicles, the Pioneer’s mission is to perform dull, dirty and dangerous jobs either as a replacement for or complement to manned boats, swimmers and shore-side personnel. Areas that will benefit the most from the introduction of small unmanned vehicles, like Pioneer, include water quality testing, oil and fuel spill cleanup, hydrographic survey, lake and pond maintenance, conservation, search and rescue and infrastructure inspection. These vehicles will also be a welcomed addition to the commercial photography and TV and film markets because of their capability to capture unique perspectives from above and below the waterline.
Key features of the Pioneer which enable users to get access to the water without getting in the water include:
- Ultimate portability: lightweight and small, it can be carried to operating sites and transported with ease in trucks, vans and SUVs
- One person operation: reduces labor costs in many cases in addition to being the ideal centerpiece of a one-person business
- Semi-autonomous control option: further reduces workload on the operator while increasing trajectory accuracy and precision
- Airboat-style propulsion: offers excellent maneuverability and performance in waters with surface films and debris as well as not disturbing the water
- All electric: low and no noise operation using lightweight batteries
- Flexible design: provides a multitude of external and internal payload mounting options, easy shore side payload reconfiguration and customization for specific applications
- High bandwidth communications: off the shelf Wi-Fi, analog and high definition video systems.
“With 70 percent of the Earth’s surface covered in water and our dependence on water for trade, recreation and life itself, it only makes sense that the next big domain for unmanned systems will be the water,” explained Larry Friese, cofounder and President of NjordWorks, and a 15-year veteran of the unmanned aircraft industry. “I believe watercraft will trend very much like aircraft, where smaller vehicles will find the most applications and ultimately dominate market share. It is an emerging market and we see nothing but blue ocean ahead.”