Aquabotix’s underwater robots can now been controlled with a smart phone after the drone-maker added Internet capability.

The announcement boosted Aquabotix’s (ASX:UUV) shares as much as 26 per cent to 12c on Thursday morning before settling back to 10.5c at 12 noon AEDT.

The drones can be remotely operated through a web browser on a phone or computer.

“Having our customers operate unmanned systems underwater in a live, immediate fashion, from anywhere in the world, is a game-changer for the underwater robotics industry,” chief executive Durval Tavares said.

The new functionality allows users to monitor what is happening under the surface at all times, while sharing data across multiple sites to reduce the need for expensive on-site manpower.

Aquabotix says the advance means underwater drone technology has now caught up with aerial drones.

The technology offered immediate benefits in the aquaculture sector where cameras are often used to monitor fish.

Remote control tech allows pilots to control underwater drones from anywhere. Pic: Aquabotix.
Remote control tech allows pilots to control underwater drones from anywhere. Pic: Aquabotix.

“Driving an underwater vehicle through a web browser previously seemed impossible,” development officer Ted Curley said.

“Live remote control now changes the timeline for how underwater processes can be accomplished both on land and under the sea.”

Earlier this quarter the $14 million company received an order from NASA’s jet propulsion lab for a remotely operated vehicle to be implemented with a range of specialist sensors as part of their Ocean Worlds program.

NASA will use the robot to survey the ocean in an attempt to create multi-dimensional maps which may help in the search for the life outside Earth.

The deal, alongside signings with Kelly Slater’s Wave company and the US Coast guard, helped bring in $187,239 in sales for the last quarter — though cash burn was  more than $900,000 .

Aquabotix had $4.7 million in the bank at the end of September.