Israel can now be added to the list of countries that manufacture autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). Developed by a team at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, the HydroCamel II was unveiled this Thursday at the NexTech Conference 2017 in the city of Beer-Sheva. According to its makers, it can do things that other AUVs can't.

"The autonomous HydroCamel II integrates state-of-the-art technologies, including high-level maneuvering in six degrees of freedom and an ability to dive almost vertically," says the university's Prof. Hugo Guterman. "Until now, these capabilities were limited to remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROVs), which must be tethered by an umbilical cable to a host ship for its power and air source."

Little else has been released in the way of technical data, although it has been stated that the 8 ft-long (2.4-m) submersible can be quickly outfitted with payloads such as sonar systems, cameras, and a specimen collection arm. It's intended mainly for use in the military, security, and oil and gas sectors, along with environmental applications and marine research.

A spin-off company, BG Robotics, has been formed to commercialize the technology. Plans call for the AUV to be offered "at a competitive price compared to other underwater vehicles in the same category."

The HydroCamel II can be seen in action, in the following video.

Source: American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

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