Kawasaki Heavy Industries has completed a verification test for an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) in UK waters.
An AUV is capable of autonomously assessing and acting according to its surrounding conditions and circumstances while carrying out preassigned missions.
The AUV verification test was carried out at The Underwater Centre, a marine testing and training facility in Fort William, Scotland.
Tests at sea used a prototype AUV and a charging station, and included automated docking of the AUV to the charging station, contactless charging, and large-capacity optical communication operations, the company explained.
Kawasaki plans to pursue full-scale development of a pipeline-inspection AUV which utilizes the automated docking and other component technologies tested in Scotland, as well as control algorithms being developed in cooperation with the UK’s Heriot-Watt University, with the aim of commercializing the AUV by the end of FY 2020.