Unmanned platforms in the project

The Starbug X

The Starbug unmanned underwater vehicle has been designed and built by CSIRO for shallow water surveillance and monitoring missions, primarily on coastal reefs, harbors and estuaries, and inland lakes. This platform has been used in several surveillance campaigns, measuring environmental and biological parameters in the Great Barrier Reef (Australia). The project will use the Starbug X version, the latest and closest prototype to a commercial product.

The main specifications of the vehicle are:

  • • Overall dimensions: 1.20 mx 0.45 mx 0.15 m
  • • Dimensions of each hull: 0.802 m (length) x 0.152 m (diameter)
  • • Hull Material: aluminium
  • • Weight: 32.00 kg
  • • Maximum depth: 100 m
  • • Batteries: 2 Li-ion batteries, 25.9V, 30Ah, connected in parallel
  • • Maximum speed: 1.5 m/s
  • • Maximum autonomy (at 0.6 m/s): 8 hours

The main innovations in the project for the unmanned underwater vehicle would be:

  • • Power system based on a 400-600 W liquid cooled PEFC and batteries.
  • • Hydrogen storage in metal hydride or complex hydrides cartridges (e.g. NaBH4).
  • • Oxygen in pressurized tank. In addition, a system for on-board oxygen generation from hydrogen peroxide will be developed and tested.


The Husky unmanned ground vehicle (UGV), from Clearpath Robotics, is an all-terrain platform used by the Robotic Group in CSIROfor rapid prototyping and field testing of sensors and actuators. This platform is used by CSIRO in different projects, such as gas detection in mining applications, by the integration and evaluation of specific sensors. The platform has been retrofitted also with a Terabot-S manipulator.

The main specifications of the Husky platform, according to the manufacturer, would be:

  • • Weight: 50 kg
  • • Maximum payload (bitumen or concrete / flat ground): 75 kg
  • • Maximum payload (all terrain): 20 kg
  • • Maximum speed: 3.6 km / h
  • • Batteries: Lead acid, 24 V and 20 Ah capacity
  • • Autonomy: nominal 3 hours, basic 8 hours

Summit XL

The Energy Area of INTA is working in its facilities in Huelva with a Summit XL UGV, from Robotnik. This platform is used for testing different power systems configurations and technologies, as well as to integrate sensors and simulate missions defined by other users, such as the Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) and Materials Department of INTA.

The main characteristics of this Summit XL platform, according the manufacturer, are as follow:

  • • Weight: 45 kg
  • • Max. payload: 20 kg
  • • Speed: 3 m/s
  • • Drive system: 4 wheel, 4 brushless motors
  • • Batteries: 8x3.3V LiFePO4
  • • Autonomy: 5 hours (continuous usage), 20 hours (standard laboratory usage)

The main innovations in the project for the UGVs would be:

  • • To increase the autonomy for both platforms (Husky and Summit XL) up to seven hours of continuous usage, maintaining its core capabilities in terms of payload.
  • • Power systems based on open cathode and air cooled PEFCs and Li ion batteries.
  • • Compressed hydrogen and metal hydrides will be the hydrogen storage technologies used in the platforms.
  • • Passive hybrid configuration, with direct coupling between batteries and fuel cells.