Aquabotix unveils its SwarmDiver, a micro unmanned surface vehicle and unmanned underwater vehicle at Sea-Air-Space at National Harbor, Md.

WASHINGTON ― The U.S. Navy has awarded a grant to an underwater drone producer to help the service locate “unexploded ordnance.”

The $78,000 grant from the Naval Undersea Warfare Center assigns Aquabotix’s SwarmDiver technology to support Navy and allied vessels.

The SwarmDiver can record temperature, depth and salinity, and can be used for “external navigation and positioning, mine countermeasures, port security, harbor management and torpedo countermeasures,” according to Whitney Million, Aquabotix CEO.

The 3.7-pound, 30-inch drones are deployed into the water from a boat, and then centrally controlled from a human operator to move in coordination with each other. The SwarmDiver can drop to a depth of up to 164 feet.

The Navy has been expanding its unmanned underwater vehicle use. Near-peer competitors like Russia and China have also invested in this field.

“Aquabotix’s products are the platform for the solution to this immediate military need,” Million said, “and we look forward to this first phase of our cooperation with the Navy.”

Andrew is a student in the class of 2020 at the University of Notre Dame.

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