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BlueBoat: Navigating the Waters with Ease and Affordability

company logo for Blue Robotics Blue Robotics

Country: United States of America

Year: 2023

Summary

From scientific research to surveys—discover how BlueBoat by BlueRobotics is changing the game in marine robotics through its affordable, high-tech, and compact design.

Status: Commercially available

Operation: Autonomous, Teleoperation

Robot Type / Domain: Research, Industrial, Consumer, Emergency & Disaster Response

Tasks: Hydrographic Surveys, Robotics System Development, Scientific Research

Whimsical Intro (by addoobot)

Already tangled up in complex projects and tight budgets? The last thing you need is for your project to get tangled up in seaweed and debris. Explore how to glide past the green hassle with BlueBoat—keeping your focus on the mission and your budget in check!

More Videos

Play video background image - video 1
An Introduction to BlueBoat Uncrewed Surface Vessel
Play video background image - video 2
Why you need BlueBoat!
Play video background image - video 3
A tour of Blue Robotics facilities and headquarter

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Intro to BlueBoat: Affordability Meets Practicality & Performance

BlueRobotics is the company that brought us the amazing thrusters (T100 and T200) and the remotely operated vehicle (BlueROV2) that many around the world love for their great quality and affordability. But they didn't stop there—in late 2023, they gave us the innovative Uncrewed Surface Vessel (USV) named BlueBoat. And yes, just like their previous products, it is also very affordable with excellent performance and functionalities. Such performance and affordability mean that many marine tasks are no longer just reserved for well-funded organizations and are becoming more accessible to everyone from local researchers to environmental enthusiasts. 

What Sets the BlueBoat Apart

What makes BlueBoat special is its integration of high-tech features with a rugged, modular, and compact design. In addition, BlueBoat incorporates open-source software (BlueOS) which allows the integration of various payloads, sensors, and other instruments. There is also a myriad of accessories already available for BlueBoat—from ethernet switches to payload brackets and sonars. These features and capabilities mean that the platform has something for everyone: academics can personalize the platform to carry out groundbreaking research, industry professionals can equip it with accessories to perform environmental monitoring and other marine tasks, or hobbyists can simply have fun and take it for adventure. 

Innovative Features and Design of BlueBoat

There is more to the design of the BlueBoat: it has an innovative hull like no other and is portable. The hull is designed such that it actively repels underwater debris and seaweed, which is highly beneficial for many challenging marine environments. In addition, the frame is foldable, thus it is compact enough to fit in a standard car trunk and also portable for ease of deployment wherever water calls.

Further, without being too technical, the hull and the structure of the BlueBoat enable the mounting of various payloads like batteries and sensors in a way that is convenient and straightforward. Impressively, BlueBoat can carry up to 15 kg of equipment and, with its maximum battery capacity, operate continuously for over 60 hours—a testament to its endurance and engineering.

Applications and Use Cases of BlueBoat

The BlueBoat shines in a variety of settings: be it research and development, scientific tasks, or hydrographic surveys. The BlueBoat's ability to handle various complex environments stems from its exceptional design, as previously discussed. Beyond its design, it is also equipped with devices, such as GPS and Navigator Flight Controller, that enable it to autonomously navigate the waters. This capability further enhances the range of marine tasks it can carry out. In addition, for those who prefer a hands-on approach, it can also be remotely operated with a joystick, offering flexibility depending on the mission’s needs.

Brief History

BlueRobotics carved a niche in the marine robotics industry with its innovative and cost-effective solutions. After a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2014, they initially started by producing and selling their T100 thrusters which were reasonably priced and that was what many in the marine robotics field were looking for.

In 2016, they introduced their remotely operated vehicle (now BlueROV2), which gained popularity again due to its affordability and high quality. They introduced the BlueBoat in late 2023, continuing their commitment to providing cost-effective and high-quality solutions. Today, BlueRobotics has a diverse product line and a global customer base.

Technical Specifications

Size: 1200L  930W  460H (mm)

Size: 47.244L  36.614W  18.110H (in)

Max. Payload: 15 kg

Max. Payload: 33.069 lbs

Max. Depth: N/A

Max. Speed: 3 m/s

Max. Speed: 9.843 ft/s

Battery Operated? Yes

Average Runtime: N/A

Max. Runtime: 62 hr(s)

Battery Recharge Time: N/A

Min. Weight in Air: 14.5 kg

Min. Weight in Air: 31.967 lbs

Manipulation: other

IP Rating: N/A

Operating Temperature: -25 ℃ to 40 ℃

Operating Temperature: -13.000 ℉ to 104.000 ℉

Open-source? N/A

Price: N/A

Endurance @ 1 m/s (~30 W), no payload: 2 Batteries (532 Wh, 2.4 kg): 18 hrs (65 km) • 4 Batteries (1064Wh, 4.7kg): 36hrs (130 km) • 6 Batteries (1596Wh, 7.0kg): 50hrs (180 km) • 8 Batteries (2128Wh, 9.3kg) 62hrs (220km) • Solar Power (user equipped): Indefinite

Maximum Static Thrust: 8.2 kgf (18 lbf)

Available Ports and Interfaces: 3 x Serial UART • Ethernet (Blue Robotics Ethernet Switch required) • 2 x USB 2.0 • 2 x USB 3.0 • 1 x 16-bit ADC (3.3 V) • 1 x 16-bit ADC (6.6 V)

Sensors: 6-DOF IMU • Dual 3-DOF compasses • Internal barometer

Software: Vehicle Control: ArduRover • Onboard Operating System: BlueOS - Default Address: blueos.local (192.168.2.2) • Recommended Mission-planning Software: QGroundControl or Mission Planner • Various Navigation Capabilities

Controller & Computing: Raspberry Pi 4 w/ BlueOS; others

Remote Control / Interface: Wireless Range (w/ included antennas): up to 1 km, up to 0.54 nm • Wireless Range (w/ directional antennas, not included): >10 km, >5.4 nm

Actuators: Propulsion: 2 x M200 Motor w/ Weedless Propeller • Propeller Diameter: 112 mm, 4.4 in

Battery: We recommend our 14.8v, 15.6Ah lithium-ion battery for the best battery life - Battery Voltage @ 60 A (Direct Connection) • Battery Voltage @ 10 A (Fuse Board) • 5V Auxiliary @ 5 A (Fuse Board)

Data Transmission / Communication: Wireless Communications Protocol: 802.11a/b/g/n (2412 - 2462MHz) • Wireless Router: MikroTik RBGroove-52HPn • Included Antenna: 7 dBi 2.4Ghz Omnidirectional, N-Male Connector • Cellular & Satellite Communications

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Comment by addoobot - Our Perspective

There is no doubt that the BlueBoat is a great product, as discussed above. But what we particularly like about this USV is not just its affordability, but also the way BlueRobotics consistently combines cost-effectiveness with innovative technology. BlueRobotics has been in this field for many years now and their ability to maintain such competitive pricing while delivering high-quality, innovative products is truly commendable. 

addoorable score:
7.90/10
Maybe the look of the robot isn't 'addoorable' in the traditional sense, but its innovation, design, and practicality are definitely something to adore. We're interested to know what you think—comment below!

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Average rating: 10.0 out of 10 Number of stars 5.0

Total ratings: 2

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meilin22   8 months, 1 week ago
its awesome especially given its price
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