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Advanced Navigation launches AI-powered autonomous undersea robot

Advanced Navigation, a manufacturer of artificial intelligence-based navigation and robotics systems, has launched Hydrus, an autonomous subsea robot that combines “the most advanced navigation, sonar and communication capabilities of any autonomous underwater vessel”.

This advanced technology is combined with a 4K 60 camera in an “incredibly small form factor”.

Advanced Navigation says Hydrus “hugely simplifies” underwater data collection and inspection and overcomes many existing cost barriers.

It is targeted at applications requiring high-resolution images and video with precise geo-referenced data.

Xavier Orr, CEO and co-founder of Advanced Navigation, says: “We have seen a revolution occur in the aerial drone market, where smaller, easy to use drones have opened new opportunities in applications previously restricted by cost. Hydrus is intended to offer the same accessibility to the underwater world.”

Hydrus is effectively an all-in-one surveying crew, alleviating the need for expensive ROVs/AUVs, survey vessels, highly trained operators and divers. Providing unparalleled flexibility, ease of use, and affordability, Hydrus is the drone revolution, underwater.

Underwater surveys made easy

As an all-in-one autonomous solution, 3D missions can be planned in minutes, without specific knowledge or training. The acoustic communication capabilities allow users to monitor and adjust missions on the fly.

Hydrus is small enough to be carried on a plane, and can be launched and retrieved by a single person. No special watercraft is required. Upon mission completion, data can be wirelessly retrieved using a computer.

No compromise on performance

A 4K 60 FPS camera coupled with powerful lighting ensures the highest quality video and photography. An AI image processing system dynamically balances camera settings and lighting, and compensates for turbidity, even in the most challenging conditions.

Hydrus features dynamic AI guidance with obstacle avoidance, altitude control and image quality control. It integrates a USBL, DVL, INS, acoustic and optical modems all tightly coupled into one compact package.

These capabilities place Hydrus well beyond the current state of the art and allow unskilled operators to easily perform advanced missions.

Hydrus can undertake missions of up to 3 hours duration, has a range of 9 km, with a maximum speed of 4 knots and a 3,000 m (10,000 ft) depth rating.

An affordable and reliable solution

Proprietary hubless thrusters prevent impellers from getting jammed with ropes or seaweed. The fully sealed, connectorless design makes for the most reliable and low-maintenance AUV on the market.

Hydrus will be available in late 2022.

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