AUV stands for autonomous underwater vehicle, which is simply an underwater robot that can be operated without a person manually controlling it — its coordinates are planned ahead of time with mission planning software. AUVs can also utilize artificial intelligence, for instance recognizing something of interest and going in for a closer look.
There are many different uses for AUVs. The Harbor AUV is what’s known as an “eco-drone”, which uses sonar and water quality sensors for environmental research, mapping and other applications for coastal development and protection.
The United Nations estimates that by the year 2050 nearly 70% of the earth’s population will reside in urban areas. In many cases these areas are already struggling with aging infrastructure and vulnerable to extreme weather events.
In order to maintain safe and sustainable urban environments into the future, we must improve our cities’ capacity to research both their surroundings and inner workings.