Boston Engineering Photo

In 2010, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) awarded a grant to Boston Engineering's Advanced Systems Group to develop the BIOSwimmer UUV for port security missions. The tether-controlled UUV mimics the swimming motion of a tuna to keep position while performing inspections on ship's hulls and other underwater infrastructure.

BIOSwimmer is a derivative of Boston Engineering's GhostSwimmer, developed under a U.S. Navy Small Business Innovation Research contract.

Boston Engineering Receives State Grant to Enhance BIOSwimmer UUV

28 June 2014 - Boston Engineering today announced the award of a $200,000 START Stage II grant to advance the development of its BIOSwimmer™ autonomous UUV. START is a $6 million initiative funded by the Patrick Administration and administered by MassVentures to help growing companies commercialize their technologies and support growth in Massachusetts. Boston Engineering is one of four START Stage I recipients to also receive START Stage II funding based on its progress towards commercialization during the past year.

START grants are only available to Massachusetts-based companies that have received Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) contracts based on the potential of their technology innovations to create high-growth commercial products or services. The START grant supports Boston Engineering’s Phase II SBIR contract.

“We are honored to be part of a small group of companies selected for the follow-on START grant, and we look forward to continuing our strong relationship with MassVentures,” said Mark Smithers, co-founder and chief technology officer of Boston Engineering. “Massachusetts’ commitment to cultivating an environment of innovation and commercialization for growing businesses like Boston Engineering helps to expand the state’s economy and improve growth opportunities for its vibrant workforce.”

BIOSwimmer is a biomimetic UUV that employs the mechanics and dynamics of biological fish to address critical capability gaps in military and security applications. The highly maneuverable robotic UUV performs operations that include inspecting ships, securing ports, and conducting infrastructure searches more rapidly, more accurately, and in more challenging areas than other underwater solutions.

“We are driven to advance underwater robotics, and we are refining capabilities that address critical security, safety, and exploration challenges for government and commercial markets,” said Michael Rufo, director of Boston Engineering’s Advanced Systems Group. “The START grant provides us with an added capability to focus our technology on the greatest areas of impact.”

Boston Engineering UUV in Office of Naval Research video featuring Dr. Thomas McKenna discussing bio-inspired robotics.