A team of researchers from Rutgers University have created “Naviator” a new drone that is as comfortable in the water as it is in the air. Unlike earlier, “hack-ier,” attempts like the Mariner, the Rutgers team decided to solve the limitations of radio underwater radio transmission, using a tether.
The Office of Naval Research commissioned this project in the hope of creating a new vehicle capable of rapid deployment for a multitude of missions. For example, a combination quadcopter-sub could inspect bridge foundations, investigate undersea pollution, or perform search-and-rescue operations.
The video below shows the proof of concept, first prototype:
A recent Popular Mechanics article highlighted the potential military applications:
While these would make great commercial applications, the military is most likely interested in the technology to rapidly detect and map underwater mines. As Javier Diez, a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, says, “Mines are probably the biggest problem for the Navy.”
About Rutgers University
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is a leading national research university and the state of New Jersey’s preeminent, comprehensive public institution of higher education. Established in 1766 and celebrating a milestone 250th anniversary in 2016, the university is the eighth oldest higher education institution in the United States. More than 67,000 students and 22,000 faculty and staff learn, work, and serve the public at Rutgers locations across New Jersey and around the world.