Issue 54 Uncrewed Sytems Technology Feb/Mar 2024 uWare uOne UUV l Radio and telemetry l Rheinmetall Canada medevacs l UUVs insight DelltaHawk engine l IMU focus l Skygauge in operation l CES 2024 report l Blueflite l Hypersonic flight

26 Dossier | uOne commonly employed in underwater exploration, are not ideally suited for navigating efficiently in or around complex structures, nor can they hover to gather data effectively. These limitations, coupled with their typically high cost, further complicate their use in detailed and precise marine inspections. “We came to realise that the robot we were developing should be a smart, agile, cost-effective and easy to deploy solution, which could change the way asset owners intervene underwater. Having a small, one person-portable, autonomous robot liberates you from needing diver teams, very skilled operation teams, cranes, tethers and much more,” Arteaga explains. “Combining autonomous robotics with a software platform capable of very advanced data analytics liberates the user from onerous data work. No-one has to be a robotics engineer or data scientist to get all the useful subsea data reports they might need. Our last demonstration of the uOne took just 10 minutes to show stepby-step how the AUV works, and that anyone can put the robot underwater, plan its mission and get visualisations of their data in less than a day.” Development strategy Rapid iterative development of the robot followed that first meeting between the three co-founders. The initial phase of development, spanning a little over a year from September 2018 to October 2019, focused on extensive hardware development. Crucially, it involved testing and validating the main design choices in real-world environments. Among the key decisions were the adoption of an eight-vectored thruster configuration, which greatly enhanced manoeuvrability and stability, and the design of a slimmer yet robust modular frame to protect the watertight enclosure holding all the internal electronic systems. “Each iteration brought significant mechanical modifications from its predecessor, focusing primarily on the robot’s movement and essential operating functions. These progressive versions enabled us to experiment with and validate various approaches to optimise the system for our specific use case, simultaneously facilitating the development of our more advanced software algorithms,” Garcia says. Arteaga and Garcia then embarked on developing advanced software algorithms from early 2019. “By the end of 2022, we had significantly increased the robot’s intelligence. Starting with thruster-control strategies, we progressed to cutting-edge localisation and navigation algorithms. The high point of this phase saw the integration of advanced decision-making capabilities, empowering the robot to autonomously navigate and adapt to unexpected environmental changes and obstacles,” Arteaga recounts. The graphical user interface (GUI) of the robot evolved in parallel with its growing autonomy. It now allows users to program missions with varying levels of environmental knowledge. The GUI provides options ranging from precise GPS waypoint navigation to broad area-exploration commands, reflecting the robot’s sophisticated level of autonomous operation. February/March 2024 | Uncrewed Systems Technology Adopting an eight-vectored thruster configuration has enabled high manoeuvrability and stability in the uOne Arranging and spacing internal subsystems for EMI and heat dissipation were critical engineering challenges that uWare worked to resolve