OCIUS Technology will continue its open water testing off the eastern Australian coast following the completion its first endurance trial in May.
'Bob' - an unmanned surface vessel - completed its first endurance trial off Bawley Point in May as part of the technology company's Defence Innovation Hub contract for the Defence Science Technology Group.
In November, the Defence Innovation Hub awarded $1.7 million to OCIUS to determine the "viability of an intelligent command and control network of persistent unmanned surface vessels".
It was the second contract OCIUS, founded by former Milton doctor Dr Robert Dane received from Defence. The first contract was to build a Bluebottle named 'Bruce' - an 18-foot prototype which met all its key performance indicators.
Bob named after former chairman and late Prime Minister Bob Hawke, was given a taste of the open ocean in late April, as engineers launched the vessel in Ulladulla Harbour.
Dr Dane was proud to report 'Bob' completed its first trial in the area well known for the East Australia Current (EAC).
"If we were transiting to a destination, then like a surfer or lifesaver, we would exit the current or use the current, but this mission requiring staying in the box made it actually harder, as the entire body of water was moving relentlessly south," Dr Dane said.
"If 'Bob' couldn't navigate, he'd be swept out of the bottom of the box in six to 10 hours."
READ MORE: Nemo is found in Ulladulla
By the end of a week the bluebottle was handling all conditions well following the upload of revised and tested algorithms from the team of engineers.
"Bob was sailing and tacking brilliantly and combined with wave and solar power was able to navigate freely in the box sustainably - even signing his artwork," Dr Dane said.
"We thank AMSA, Transport NSW, Ulladulla Marine Rescue, local fishermen, and all mariners, including those who sent us photos of 'Bob', for their help and support during the trial."
OCIUS will return to Ulladulla on Tuesday, June 11 to begin some intelligent networking scenarios.