Demonstration of an aerial and submersible vehicle capable of flight and underwater navigation with seamless air-water transition

M. M. Maia, F. J. Diez

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Unmanned underwater and aerial vehicles (UUVs and AUVs) have become quite popular over the last decade with much focus on underwater gliders and flying multirotors. However, an area that has seen very little progress is that of producing a vehicle capable of flight and underwater navigation. We have built and will be presenting the first fully functional unmanned aerial and underwater vehicle platform that is capable of operating in both air and underwater with seamless transition between both mediums. These unique capabilities combined with the robustness, high maneuverability and reliability of multirotor vehicles, result in a disruptive technology for both civil and military application including air/water search and rescue, inspection, repairs and survey missions among others. The research thrusts of this new platform are primarily focused on smooth air-water interface transition, underwater navigation and maneuverability, platform autonomy and overall robustness. During the presentation we will show videos demonstrating the vehicle operating in air, transitioning from air to underwater, maneuvering underwater, and transitioning back from water to air. The full cycle can be repeated multiple times showing different missions that combine air and underwater operation. This will demonstrate the unique capabilities of this novel platform. To our knowledge this represents the first vehicle capable of operating in both mediums and opens the door to new applications that were not considered possible before. We will also discuss in detail how the seamless transition is achieved, showing that the vehicle doesn't need to stop during the transfer from air to underwater.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2016
EventXPONENTIAL 2016 - An AUVSI Experience - LA, United States
Duration: May 2 2016May 5 2016


OtherXPONENTIAL 2016 - An AUVSI Experience
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering


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