2013 R&D 100 Winner
ProteusUnmanned underwater vehicles have proliferated in recent years as the combined interests of academic research and industry have required close contact with the sea floor without the added hassle, expense or risk of sending a human crew. At the same time, manned vehicles are still required for a variety of tasks, ranging from complex engineering tasks to security and defense.

Until now, users had to choose between the two types of vehicles. However, Proteus, developed by Battelle Memorial Institute, Bluefin Robotics Corp., and The Columbia Group, Engineering Solutions Div., offers both modes in a single, submersible platform.

Measuring 7.6 m in length and weighing 3,737 kg, the Proteus has been designed with flooded-hull architecture, storing critical elements in pressurized vessels for protection. Powered by rechargeable lithium-polymer batteries, the vehicle can carry and deploy large payloads internally or externally. It can, for example, deliver a crew to an operations site and then move autonomously to another location for pickup, or act as an autonomous “mule” to transport cargo from point to point.

Unmanned underwater vehicle

Battelle Memorial Institute
Bluefin Robotics Corp.
The Columbia Group

Development Team

The Proteus Development Team
Robert Geoghegan, Principal Developer, Battelle Memorial Institute
Ross Lindman, Principal Developer, The Columbia Group
Anthony LoRusso, Principal Developer, Bluefin Robotics Corp.
Christopher Baer, Battelle Memorial Institute
Victoria Bill, Battelle Memorial Institute
Randall Chaffin, Battelle Memorial Institute
Gary Conkel, Battelle Memorial Institute
David DeMartino, The Columbia Group
David Farris, The Columbia Group
Dani Goldberg, Bluefin Robotics Corp.
Gregory Gregoriades, Battelle Memorial Institute
Douglas Guardino, The Columbia Group
Austin Graham, The Columbia Group
Karl Lindman, The Columbia Group
Dane Maglich, The Columbia Group
Jen Murphy, Bluefin Robotics Corp.
Wesley Rankin, Bluefin Robotics Corp.
Christy Saintsing, Battelle Memorial Institute
James Turner, Battelle Memorial Institute