Designed for scalability
Currently, AUVs are prohibitively expensive for many applications, and often too big and heavy to take along without specialized infrastructure. Therefore AUVs are not widely used, and most AUV operators only have one unit. We are going to change that.
The VERTEX AUV was specifically designed from the ground up for scalability: mass-produceable at an affordable cost, small and light for easy deployment in large numbers, and equipped with an array of novel communication and localization technology to cooperate as a team.
The electronics and mechanical components are highly modular. This allows us to quickly replace or upgrade components, adapt the electrical interfaces and weight balance to new payload sensors, and easily adapt the configuration for each mission according to requirements.
The default sensor payload is the EXO2 system from YSI, which is also very modular – the 7 ports can be loaded with any of the available sensors from the EXO2 range to suit each deployment’s requirements. Alternative sensors can be integrated on request by adapting our exchangeable payload front plate.
Advanced swarm communication and localization
We developed a unique low-frequency radio system designed for robotic swarms, that connects the underwater robots as a multi-hop radio network. Advanced distributed scheduling algorithms prevent interference and maximise communication throughput.
Furthermore, we added a novel distributed acoustic localization system that allows each AUV to triangulate its position with respect to the other AUVs in the fleet. By combining this system with the communication network and a GPS receiver that obtains a position whenever any of the AUVs is at the surface, each robot gets continuous position information – no additional infrastructure required. The AUVs are also equipped with radio and 3G for surface communication.
The unique combination of scalable communication and localization techniques enables us to implement sophisticated swarm and formation control algorithms. By cooperating as a team, our fleet of submarines can respond adaptively to measured gradients, e.g. to find the source of a spill or follow a plume to determine its size.
Agile 3D navigation
The VERTEX AUV is equipped with 5 of our proprietary, patented thrusters, making it agile and highly manoeuverable. With three stabilisation thrusters and two forward thrusters, the submarine can rotate freely around 3 axes and hold depth even when stationary.
Any 3D trajectory can be followed precisely at up to 1 m/sec (2 knots). Our advanced navigation autopilot automatically guides the submarine to predefined waypoints (GPS location and depth) that are uploaded in advance via the mission planning software.
Jobs to be done
Vertex can be fitted with a multitude of miniaturized electronic devices to collect data, either it’s a camera for video and images, a sonar for bathymetric studies or sensors for environmental surveying.
Up to 7 sensors can be used simultaneously, such as:
Conductivity, Temperature, Depth / Pressure
Optical Dissolved Oxygen
Alternative Sensors on request.
Multiple sensor payload
Smart precise localization technology autonomy
Advanced swarm communication
Up to 8 hours of autonomy