In the current context, amphibious operations show their strategic utility in crisis scenarios for offensive, infiltration or extraction missions.

Prior to human and material resources deployment, it is necessary to carry out recognition operations and securing the landing zone. These operations are essential by the fact that the coastal zones are subject to changes. Natural (ex: silting) or artificial (obstacles or mines…).

These recognition and mapping operations must be carried out with stealthy means in order to keep the rapidity of modern operations. Nowadays, these missions are mainly conducted by human resources, marine commandos and demining divers.

The SURFBOT project goal is to develop the foundations of a lightweight and cheap robotic system capable of leading reconnaissance missions and underwater mapping of landing areas in a stealthy way and without any human intervention in the risk zone.

Directorate General of Armaments
Directorate General of Armaments

Project description

The aim of the project is to design the first software bricks of a portable underwater robot, able to map a submarine area close to a point of interest.

The operational specifications, essentially inspired by the need expressed by the special forces are :

  • Automatic coverage of an area of 200 x 200 m with a distance from the base of around 1000 m
  • Automatic generation of a cartography (digital terrain model) of the covered area without operator intervention
  • Light system (maximum 40 kg) and of reduced size, can be launched by 2 men, without dedicated means of handling
  • Implementation of lightweight and low-cost sensors (the robot can be considered as loseable)
3D model en seabed
Sonar view

Simulator development

Robopec supports the design of an innovative simulator for both development and tests of models in a simulated and configurable environment (essential way to minimize the real test phases). In this perspective a sonar model has benn developed and integrated into a simulation environment.