Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water… Aquabotix have released a micro unmanned surface vehicle for use in swarm operations.

The company’s (ASX:UUV) SwarmDivers weigh just 1.7kg and are 75cm long – but operate best as a single coordinated entity to perform dives on command and collect intelligence for naval or research purposes.

A video released alongside the launch shows a swarm of 28 devices narrowing in on a vessel from all angles – to get a 360-degree pictures of the threat.

Recently appointed chief Whitney Million told shareholders the device was a first for the market.

“Until today, there were simply no swarming unmanned vehicles with diving capabilities commercially available to users. SwarmDiver leads a revolution in underwater technologies, and we believe it is a game changer for both the company and the industry,” she said.

This development comes as international navies increasingly catch up to the use of unmanned vessels on land.

The US Office of Naval Research earlier this year demonstrated the swarming technique with Unmanned Surface Vessels the size of boats.

Aquabotix – with a market cap of just $10.6 million – told the market its SwarmDiver was the only technology of this micro size.

Aquabotix (UUV) shares over the past six months.
Aquabotix (UUV) shares over the past six months.

“No other micro hybrid surface or underwater unmanned vehicle or swarming unmanned vehicles with diving capabilities are known to be commercially available to corporate and governmental users,” it said.

“Naval swarming has become an area of focus for naval forces globally. In addition to defence and security applications, SwarmDivers can be deployed in research, harbour management and oceanography.”

Shares in the company opened steady on Monday to trade at 7.9c – recovering from a record low of 5c last month.

The company listed at an issue price of 20c in April last year and has so far failed to reach those heights in regular trade.