The robotic microsub capable of being deployed from a robotic surface vehicle was unveiled at the Marine Autonomous and Technology Annual Showcase at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC).
The new design, led by Planet Ocean and co-developed by NOC, ASV and the University of Southampton, is around three times smaller than current autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs).
At around 50 cm long, their size allows them to be used in ways previously not considered, NOC said.
The new ecoSUBμ and larger ecoSUBm were developed at the new Marine Robotics Innovation Centre.
Kevin Forshaw, NOC’s associate director, Innovation and Enterprise said: “This is an example of a highly innovate new product, that is being rapidly brought to market due to the comprehensive support being offered from the technical team within the Marine Robotics Innovation Centre. Product development such as this, that draws on leading thinking from NOC and the University of Southampton, will help UK PLC to make further inroads into this rapidly expanding global market.”
The ecoSUB launch comes after one year into a two year project, with the next phase being testing, before the product officially comes to market.
A spin out company from Planet Ocean, ecoSUB Robotics has been formed to concentrate on the development and manufacture of the micro vehicles.