Diverse Marine to build Nauticus’ Hydronaut autonomous surface vessels

Diverse Marine has signed an agreement with Nauticus Robotics to construct the initial production run of the autonomous surface vessel (ASV) Hydronaut for the Nauticus Fleet, a robotic navy with 20 Hydronaut vessels.

Diverse Marine
Source: Diverse Marine

The announcement follows 18 months of close collaboration between the two companies to bring the project to fruition.

Diverse Marine said it has the infrastructure and partnerships to build Hydronauts worldwide, including Jones Act compliant builds with its USA-based shipyard partners.

Production and delivery of the first two vessels are scheduled for Q1 2023, with the remainder set to be completed by the end of 2024.

“We are delighted to have signed an agreement with Nauticus for the development and construction of Hydronaut for the Nauticus Fleet,” said Ben Colman, director of Diverse Marine. “This is an exciting milestone in the development of our business and the start of a productive relationship with Nauticus.”

The primary objective of the 18-meter vessel is to support the launch, recovery and real-time operations of Aquanaut, its undersea robotic counterpart. Hydronaut ferries Aquanaut to and from the worksite and supports battery recharges as well as the communications link from the local remote operations center for supervised autonomous operations.

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Hydronaut features aluminum hull, deck, and wheelhouse designed by Global Marine Design, as well as propulsion provided by Volvo Penta’s IPS1050 in twin configurations that meet the passage speed requirements of 18 knots and is said to match the slow running speeds required while working with Aquanaut.

The ASV will also comprise proprietary Guardian Autonomy hardware and software provided by Marine AI, a navigation and communications suite provided by Boat Electrics & Electronics, and a SMART-Gyro roll dampening device supplied by Golden Arrow.

Other systems include an autonomous through-hull deployment of transducers and acoustic communication systems, a Kongsberg LARS Aquanaut launching system, and MLC-compliant sleeping and mess areas when optionally manned. 

The vessel will be classed with Bureau Veritas and initially flagged to MCA Workboat Code.

Aquanaut is a fully electric, free-swimming subsea robot, controlled through acoustic communication networking and can perform data collection, inspection, and manipulation tasks.

It can operate in two separate modes – transforming itself between the excursion and intervention configurations. Excursion mode involves the usage of data collection and perception sensors during transit, while intervention mode uses two electric work-class manipulators (Nauticus’ Olympic Arms) to perform work in the subsea environment.

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