AUV Cuttlefish

Dual-arm intervention AUV Cuttlefish

Technical Details

Size: Ø 2.8m x 2.0m x 0.8m
Weight: 1200kg
Speed: 4 kn
Actuation/ Engine:
Thruster: 8 x Ring thruster, Wittenstein Cyber Motor GmbH, thrust 500N, diving depth 6000m
Whole System Diving Depth:
Initial 300m, depending on the configuration
6 DOF freely selectable orientation and travel attitude
two deep sea capable arms (pressure compensated):
4-DOF docking arm with ball head gripper
• Extended length 1,710mm
• Integrated WLAN antenna
• Tensile load: max. 1kN
6-DOF working arm
• Length extended without gripper: 1.680mm
• Payload: 7kg
Battery / Capacity:
2x LiFePo 5 KWh 50V
Evologics S2CR 18/34
Rowe Technology SeaPilot 1200kHz
iXblue Phins C3 (fiber optic)
Pressure sensor::
Absolute sensor Keller PAA-33X 10bar
Obstacle avoidance:
Tritech Micron DST CHIRP Sonar
3 x Basler ACE 2040-25GC (1x front, 2x bottom stereo)
2 x Bowtech LED-K-Series headlights
Onboard computers:
Intel i7-8700 @ Kontron mITX-CFL-S (Navigation, AI, Evaluation), Supermicro X10SDV mITX (Storage, Backup), 3x Odroid XU4 (lowlevel behavior)

Organisational Details

Sponsor: Federal Ministry of Education and Research
Grant number: Funded by BMBF, grant no. O1lS17029A
Application Field: Underwater Robotics
Related Projects: Mare-IT
Information Technology for Maritime Applications (08.2018- 11.2021)

System description

CAD bottom view of the AUV Cuttlefish, (Image: Jens Hilljegerdes, DFKI)
AUV Cuttlefish in the DFKI RIC underwater test basin (Photo: Thomas Frank, DFKI)
AUV Cuttlefish in the DFKI RIC underwater test basin (Photo: Thomas Frank, DFKI)
AUV Cuttlefish in the DFKI RIC underwater test basin (Photo: Thomas Frank, DFKI)
The Cuttlefish autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) is designed as an intervention AUV that can be freely positioned in the water column. Due to the thruster arrangement and by being able to change the center of gravity and buoyancy during a dive, it is able to take arbitrary orientations during the manipulation of objects underwater with its two deep-sea manipulators attached to the ventral side and keep them stable. Initial application scenarios include contact inspection of foundation structures on wind turbines, hydrogen pipelines and other underwater equipment such as valves or pumps in offshore fields.

In addition to fully autonomous operation, it is possible to operate the vehicle in a hybrid mode using an optical fiber, where the power supply is integrated into the system but the vehicle can be remotely controlled or monitored for critical operations on underwater structures. For this purpose, the vehicle has a variety of optical and acoustic sensors for environmental awareness in addition to the manipulators.


Mare-IT: Powerful IT infrastructure for underwater maintenance with ground-breaking dual-arm AUV

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last updated 22.08.2023
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