New Subsea Robot Transforms from AUV to ROV

By Mike Ball / 27 Apr 2018
Follow UST

Houston Mechatronics Aquanaut

Houston Mechatronics has announced the launch of its new subsea robot, Aquanaut, a multipurpose robot which 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. The vehicle enables both the efficient collection of data over long distances as well as manipulation of subsea objects at a significantly lower cost than previous technology.

“We firmly believe that this technology is a revolution in subsea robotics. 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,” said Houston Mechatronics CEO Matthew Ondler. “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.”

Nic Radford, CTO of Houston Mechatronics, remarked: “We saw a great opportunity to fundamentally change the commercial and defense subsea markets with Aquanaut. 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. 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.”

Houston Mechatronics will be presenting the Aquanaut at both the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas, and the AUVSI Xponential Conference in Denver, Colorado.

Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact