Ben Gurion University to Commercialize Autonomous Underwater Vehicle

The HydroCamel II was developed by the University for commercial underwater operations and research

Amarelle Wenkert 13:4423.10.17

BGN Technologies Ltd., the technology commercialization company of Israel-based Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), announced last week a plan to commercialize the HydroCamel II, an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) developed by the university. The HydroCamel II will be used for underwater research and other underwater operations, the university said.



The HydroCamel II is an 8.2 feet (2.5 meters) long AUV designed for military use, as well as commercial use in the underwater security industry, underwater oil and gas production, and marine research.

Testing the HydroCamel Testing the HydroCamel


The UAV was developed by researchers at Ben Gurion University's Laboratory for Autonomous Robotics (LAR). BGN Technologies has launched BGR, a new company dedicated to the commercialization of the HydroCamel II. The new company is headquartered at the Advanced Technologies Park in Beer-Sheva, a city in the Negev region in the South of Israel.


The HydroCamel II has advanced maneuverability, is able to dive almost vertically and to a depth of nearly 1000 feet (300 meters), hover in place without sinking, and operate underwater for 12-16 hours, Head of the BGU’s robotics laboratory Hugo Guterman told Calcalist.


In a statement issued by the university last week, Mr. Guterman referred to the HydroCamel II’s abilities, saying that “until now, these capabilities were limited to remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROVs), which must be tethered by umbilical cable to a host ship at all times, while the HydroCamel II is completely autonomous.”


The AUV is built to support the integration of add-ons such as sonars, cameras, sensors, and a specimen collection arm.


The university said it intends to offer the HydroCamel II at a competitive price compared to other underwater vehicles to gain market advantage. Mr. Guterman told Calcalist that the company already received orders for the HydroCamel II, and that he expects first models to be available on the market in the first quarter of 2018.


A smaller and lighter prototype, the HydroCamel I, was developed by university researchers two years ago.

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