“Unmanned marine drone designed to patrol our borders”
01 October, 2017
INTRODUCING ro-boat cop — the unmanned marine drone capable of patrolling our borders for months at a time. The craft is creating waves around the world for its ability to revolutionise the way we patrol and monitor our seas. Dubbed Bluebottle — after the Aussie marine animal that uses its body as a windsail to drive itself — the marine drone is propelled by wind, solar and wave power through its solar sail and wave flipper.
Minister for Trade and Industry, Niall Blair said this technology showcases the very best of Australian ingenuity — it’s imitating life, with nature inspiring new innovation.
“Innovations such as this, founded on close co-operation between our universities and manufacturers, cement NSW’s reputation as a leader in drone technology,” Mr Blair said.
“It’s a satellite of the sea, an autonomous ship that can be constantly beaming back critical information.
“The Bluebottle is changing the future of naval technology, and even if there is no sun and wind, the drone can still power against the waves. “We are hoping that one day we will have a fleet of Bluebottles that can communicate in a network that stretches across the oceans.”
At 5.8m long, it can carry up to 250kg of equipment and is customised for a variety of tasks including maritime surveillance, border monitoring for illegal vessels, weather monitoring and oil and gas line checking. It can also operate for longer and with less risk than a conventional manned craft.
The technology has been developed with the assistance of a $2.8 million contract from the Commonwealth’s Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG), and has been developed in collaboration with defence, university and business specialists.