New sub could be Google Maps for the ocean

Aine Fox
(Australian Associated Press)


A new battery-operated submarine dubbed Google Maps for the ocean could find wreckages, help in search and rescue operations and track climate change, its creators say.

The “Sub Mapping” technology has the ability to autonomously map the world’s seas, lakes, and waterways, Melbourne-based company UAM Tec said.

The firm said their creation – which they have likened to existing mapping technology Street View – is a world-first as a fully autonomous and visual-based mapping submarine.

The submarine’s founders said they aim to use “swarms” of lithium battery-powered submarines to map the ocean floor, resulting in a so-called Water View.

Each sub would hover two metres above the ocean floor and operate for up to 40 hours before automatically returning to base to recharge, the firm’s co-founders Benjamin Fleming and Shawn Taylor said.

“Not only will we be able to discover new species of marine life and track climate change, but in time we will also be able to optimise search and rescue operations, locate wreckages and black boxes, and much more,” said Mr Fleming.

The first work will be done in Melbourne’s bays and water bodies, the pair said, adding that they hope to be the leading provider of such technology by 2021.


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