iRobot Seaglider

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The Seaglider is a deep-diving Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) designed for missions lasting many months and covering thousands of miles. In military applications the Seaglider is more commonly referred to as an Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV).

Seaglider was initially developed by the University of Washington. iRobot received an exclusive five-year license to produce the Seaglider for customers outside the University of Washington in June 2008. [1][2][3][4][5] May 2013 Kongsberg Underwater Technology, Inc. announced that they have completed negotiations with the University of Washington's Center for Commercialization to obtain the sole rights to produce, market and continue the development of Seaglider ™ technology.[6]


Seaglider measures temperature, salinity and other quantities in the ocean, sending back data using global satellite telemetry. Seaglider UUVs are in use worldwide, collecting oceanic physical properties and performing various other missions for oceanographers, including the U.S. Navy, government agencies and research organizations.

Seaglider "flies" through the water with extremely modest energy requirements using changes in buoyancy for thrust coupled with a stable low-drag hydrodynamic shape. Designed to operate at depths up to 1,000 meters the hull compresses as it sinks to match the pressure from the seawater.


In May 2010 Seaglider was deployed in the Gulf of Mexico to help monitor and gather data during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill incident.[7]

In 2013 the US Navy tested Seaglider for use in the Littoral combat ship.[8]

As of 2016, the US Navy was deploying LBS-Glider from T-AGS and was preparing to deploy from DDGs.[9]


  1. ^ "IRobot Secures Licensing Agreement For Underwater Seagliders". 29 June 2008.
  2. ^ "iRobot Maritime Robots - 1KA Seaglider". 21 May 2010.
  3. ^ "From the deep: UW Seaglider draws U.S. military attention - The Daily". 12 July 2012. Archived from the original on 12 July 2012.
  4. ^ "iRobot to convert UW's academic Seaglider into military drone". Retrieved 2017-03-14.
  5. ^ "iRobot Corporation: Press Release". 6 June 2011.
  6. ^ "KONGSBERG Obtains Rights to Commercialize Seaglider™ Technology - Kongsberg Maritime". Retrieved 2017-03-14.
  7. ^ "Enlisted to help in Gulf". The Boston Globe. 2 June 2010. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
  8. ^ "AUVSI 2013 - US Navy Trains Sea Glider UUV Crew". 15 August 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  9. ^ LaGrone, Sam (16 November 2016). "Navy Deploying Unmanned Gilders from Destroyers to Help ASW Mission". USNI. Retrieved 16 November 2016.

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