Unmanned Systems Technology 010 | nuTonomy driverless taxi | Embedded computing | HFE International marine powertrain | Space vehicles | Performance monitoring | Commercial UAV Show Asia report

46 R eaders with only a passing knowledge of matters nautical will associate the term ‘buoy’ with a floating marker designed to aid marine navigation, or lifebuoys, thrown to a person in peril at sea to provide buoyancy. A lifebuoy normally has a connecting line to allow the endangered person to be pulled to the rescuer. Anthony Mulligan, founder and CEO of Arizona-based Hydronalix, saw the potential to develop a robotic variant of the lifebuoy while he was helping to develop a robotic boat for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to be used in health checks on marine mammals. He realised that a small, self-powered flotation device could reach a drowning person much faster than a person swims. Mulligan called his invention Emily, derived from Emergency Integrated Lifesaving Lanyard. Electrically powered, it measures 54 in long by 16 in wide by 8 in tall, and weighs 25 lb. A lifeguard will toss it into the water from the shore, an aircraft or a ship, and it is programmed to head Ian Bamsey investigates how HFE transformed a small-displacement marine four-stroke to suit the requirements of an autonomous buoy Buoy wonder HFE produced this power unit for an autonomous mobile buoy October/November 2016 | Unmanned Systems Technology