Unit Price Under $15k Offers Unique Value Proposition
Riptide Autonomous Solutions launched a second generation open source micro unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) at the Oceanology International 2018 exhibition in London 13-15 March. Offering significant improvements over the original MK I, the MK II µUUV focuses on enhanced performance and manufacturability.
The unit’s internal electronics have been almost completely redesigned, according to the company, as a result of which the power requirement has been reduced to 3.5W, thus extending endurance to 40+hrs at 2kts on alkaline batteries without a payload. Maximum speed is said to be in excess of 10kts and the MK II µUUV has a 300m depth rating. A fresh manufacturing approach features increased use of moulded rather than 3D-printed components, allowing for better depth ratings, faster production cycles and improved quality assurance. The open source software has also been expanded, with mission planning, vehicle checkout and mission sortie execution tools now available.
Perhaps the most significant fact, though – and one that prompted Riptide CEO Jeff Smith to comment that the µUUV “really stood out for its high performance and affordable price, despite a growing number of lower-performing, higher cost, entries into the market” at the exhibition, is a unit base price of under $15,000. This offers the market a unique value proposition, in the company’s view – one which is being proven by the fact that orders are already being placed for the MK II µUUV – and product being shipped.
“The MK II µUUV is a significant step forward for Riptide. It advances our mission of Deeper, Faster, Further UUVs for our diverse customer base,” commented Riptide’s Chief Operating Officer, John Vestri. The user-friendly features of the Riptide family including payload versatility and open architecture remain significant benefits of the MK II design.