A San Diego startup company unveiled its first ever unmanned submarine at Harbor Island Thursday.
The Submaran, created by Ocean Aero, has been programmed to stay within certain wave points. It can do a number of tasks, including monitoring the ocean all by itself.
Ocean Aero CEO Eric Patten said the Submaran technology will have many uses to benefit everything from commercial fishing to weather and even defense.
"But the coolest thing about it is its hybrid nature, meaning that it can sail on the surface and that it can fold up and dive. No other vehicle on the planet does that as an autonomous, unmanned system,” Patten said.
The Submaran S-10 can carry up to 50 pounds and dive about 30 feet below the water. The vessel is equipped with cameras and sensors so it can function completely on its own.
The Submaran doesn’t need someone controlling it at all times. It can just be programmed for a mission and let go.
Ocean Aero envisions the Submaran will be used to help scientists monitor the ocean or help law enforcement keep our oceans safe.
"We wanted to be able to provide something that can give you that freedom to explore…kind of accelerate the discovery of our oceans,” Patten explained. “And that’s what excites me because where I’m sitting and where I’m looking unmanned systems are the future."
Depending on its mission, programmers can add more sensors and capabilities to the drone.
It does come with a hefty price tag though, starting at around $300,000 and up.