Tuesday, 29 October 2019 11:28

Melbourne firm launches sub to map country's waterways

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The submarine produced by UAM Tec. The submarine produced by UAM Tec. Supplied

Melbourne firm UAM Tec (Underwater Autonomous Mapping Technology) has launched a small submarine that can map oceans, lakes and waterways to produce maps, called WaterView, much in the same way that firms produce maps of the earth.

Called Sub Mapping, the device was unveiled at CeBIT 2019 in Sydney on Tuesday by the company's co-founders, managing director Benjamin Fleming and chief executive Shawn Taylor.

Fleming said the device would provide information to change the way humans understand, interact and protect the planet’s water bodies.

“We want to be able to educate the next generation about everything that exists in our world. The fact that we know more about space than we do about our own oceans is unacceptable with today’s technology," he said.

"Our Sub Mapping technology will change this. 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.

uam people

Benjamin Fleming and Shawn Taylor with the sub. Supplied

“As a research tool, the subs will provide insights useful for a range of industries with their ability to gather data. We will also be able to share knowledge and imagery with the public. Ultimately, we will be able to look at ways to live in better harmony with our planet."

The submarines are powered by lithium batteries and designed to ensure minimal environmental impact. They can operate two metres above the ocean floor and use camera imagery, sonar, motion tracking and artificial intelligence to navigate the underwater environment.

The subs can travel 100km and go down to 300 metres with a battery life of 40 hours, after which it will automatically return to base to recharge.

Taylor has a background in technology that includes more than 20 years’ experience in network infrastructure, server structure, business and system analysis, software development and various other areas of advanced engineering and IT. Fleming is an entrepreneur with more than 14 years in systems development, project mapping and deployment and a family history in private enterprise.

The first missions will be in Melbourne’s Bays and water bodies.

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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