Hydrus reveals subsea drone

Advanced Navigation has launched its subsea drone Hydrus, making ocean data accessible to everyone.

05 April 2022


Advanced Navigation, one of the world’s most ambitious innovators in AI robotics and navigation technology, has launched Hydrus, a revolution in underwater drone technology.

Hydrus, a fully autonomous submersible drone, will revolutionise undersea research, survey and exploration by making data capture simple and accessible.


The drone revolution, underwater

The ocean is an extremely challenging environment. When venturing underwater, one can expect tremendous pressure and no access to internet or GPS.

Existing equipment designed for ocean exploration typically requires a large vessel fitted with lifting equipment, qualified crews, professional divers and health and safety requirements. This has made underwater data capture expensive, irregular and often ineffective.

“We’ve seen a revolution take place in the aerial drone industry, 10 to 15 years ago, only qualified experts could fly drones,” says Xavier Orr, CEO and co-founder of Advanced Navigation.


“Today, drones are simple and reliable enough that anyone can use them, which is why we’re seeing them in countless industries.

“Looking at underwater technology, we want the same thing to happen. At the moment, underwater vehicles require specialist knowledge and training to be used effectively.

“We’ve developed Hydrus to ensure professional-grade underwater imagery and data is accessible to everyone, enabling greater opportunities across the ocean, whether it’s inspecting offshore wind farms, capturing undersea cinematography or monitoring coral reefs.”


Restoring the ocean starts with data

The ocean produces more than half of the world’s oxygen and absorbs 50 times more carbon dioxide than our atmosphere. It’s fundamentally important to every human and living species on this planet – and it’s in danger.

Sustainable use of ocean resources is of critical importance to the health of the planet, so much so that the United Nations proclaimed 2021 to 2030 the Ocean Decade. To enable informed decision making for the sustainable use of ocean resources, data is needed on a scale and magnitude greater than previously possible.

Hydrus has the potential to discover why some of the ocean’s greatest climate change events are occurring.

This includes CO2 absorption, reef bleaching, new diseases, loss of sea life and biodiversity, coastal erosion and fishery decline amongst others.

Being able to regularly gather high-resolution data will help us measure the severity of these devastating events and allow ocean conservationists to act quickly. Together, with research partners, Advanced Navigation hopes to discover how to restore and protect the oceans for future generations.

“Minderoo Foundation has made a strategic investment in this program as part of its mission to engage the best science and latest technologies in support of ocean conservation,” says Dr Tony Worby, Director of Flourishing Oceans and the Planet Portfolio at Minderoo Foundation.

“Having technology like Hydrus is one way of supporting our marine researchers and scientists to access cutting-edge technology which puts them at the forefront of tackling the greatest threats to our global ocean.”

An advancement in reliable autonomy

Advanced Navigation aims to remove traditional barriers to users of underwater data, namely complexity and cost.

    • Advanced sonar, navigation and communications systems allows Hydrus to cut the tether and navigate fully autonomously, avoiding obstacles and adjusting missions on the fly.
    • Operational straight out of the box, without the need for specific knowledge or training, the web interface makes it simple to plan and execute underwater missions in 3D.
    • Hydrus is equipped with a cinema-grade 4K 60 fps camera combined with an AI engine to analyse image quality and adjust lighting on the go.
    • Its compact size and minimal weight means it can be launched by a single person and taken as carry-on when flying.

Hydrus will revolutionise the way we gather data to deepen our knowledge and understanding of the ocean.

Whether it’s monitoring the Great Barrier Reef, building maps of world ocean heritage sites, inspecting underwater infrastructure and fish farms or identifying new marine life, Hydrus will be instrumental in building a stronger, more sustainable ocean for us all.

Hydrus is available for pre-order now.



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