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Israeli scientists launches autonomous underwater vehicle

Ben Gurion University’s Laboratory for Autonomous Robotics, developed the HydroCamel II to assist the military, security, oil and gas sectors.

 

BGN Technologies Ltd., the technology transfer company of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), has announced the launch of BGR – a new company which will commercialize HydroCamel II, Israel’s first Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) developed by researchers at BGU’s the Laboratory for Autonomous Robotics (LAR).

 BGR will introduce the 2.5 m long AUV for commercial use in the military, security, oil and gas sectors, as well as environmental applications and marine research. The company, which will be headquartered in Beersheva at the Advanced Technologies Park adjacent to the University, will be led by CEO Tzvika Goldner.

The Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Market according to Markets and Markets will reach $1.2 billion by 2023, growing annually by 22 percent due to the rising necessity for sea-based security measures worldwide and increasing offshore oil and gas production. AUV’s are being used around the world for underwater exploration, underwater cable layout and inspection, marine biology and geology sampling, archeology, and various military uses.

“The HydroCamel II AUV integrates state-of-the-art technologies including high-level maneuvering in six degrees of freedom and an ability to dive almost vertically,” says Prof. Hugo Guterman of BGU’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and head of the LAR. “Until now, these capabilities were limited to remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROVs), which must be tethered by umbilical cable to a host ship at all times, while the HydroCamel II is completely autonomous.”

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Prof. Hugo Guterman testing hydrocamel in the water

The HydroCamel II AUV combines full autonomy and maneuverability while enabling quick integration of specialized payloads such as sonars, cameras, sensors, and a specimen collection arm. BGR has begun cooperation with payload manufacturers in order to supply customers with an integrated solution.

Goldner said, “BGR will be offering HydroCamel II at a competitive price compared to other underwater vehicles in the same category. This gives us a distinct advantage in the market. We believe HydroCamel II will expand the AUV customer base and enable us to deploy AUVs in new areas.”

The new company and technology will be introduced at the NexTech Conference 2017, which will take place this Thursday, October 19th in Beersheva at the Advanced Technologies Park.

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