'Bluebottle' creating waves in NSW Defence

Media release | 5 October 2017

A marine drone is creating waves around the world for its ability to revolutionise the way we patrol and monitor our seas.

Ocius Technology has developed an un-manned marine drone, dubbed “Bluebottle” that can recharge at sea, enabling it to be deployed for months at a time.

The Bluebottle’s patented solar sail means it can be powered by wind or solar and its wave flipper appendage means it can also be powered by waves, making it perfect for a host of naval activities.

Minister for Trade and Industry, Niall Blair said this technology show-cases the very best of Australian ingenuity – it’s imitating life, with nature inspiring new innovation.

“Innovations such as this, founded on close co-operation between our universities and manufacturers, cement NSW’s reputation as a leader in drone technology,” Mr Blair said.

“It’s a satellite of the sea, an autonomous ship that can be constantly beaming back critical information.

“The Bluebottle is changing the future of naval technology, and even if there is no sun and wind, the drone can still power against the waves.

“We are hoping that one day we will have a fleet of Bluebottles that can communicate in a network that stretches across the oceans.”

At 5.8m long, it can carry up to 250kg of equipment and is customised for a vast array of uses including maritime surveillance, border monitoring for illegal vessels, weather monitoring and oil and gas line checking. It can also operate for longer and with less risk than a conventional manned craft.

The Bluebottle craft was named after the Aussie marine animal that uses its body as a wind- sail to propel itself.

This fantastic NSW technology won the $10,000 Defence SME Innovation Grant at the PACIFIC 2017 maritime exposition in Sydney.

The technology has been developed with the assistance of a $2.8 million contract from the Commonwealth’s Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG), and has been developed in collaboration with defence, university and business specialists.

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Ocius Technology's Bluebottle on Sydney Harbour