Hybrid Unmanned Vehicle Operational in Air and Underwater

Invention Summary:

Development of unmanned vehicles has soared in the last decade.  Vehicles are being built and tested that can operate in air, sea or land. Some of these have made it into the commercial market.

Despite the widespread interest, there are no commercial vehicles that seamlessly operate in multiple mediums.The two most difficult mediums to transition between are air and water. Vehicles able to transition seamless between these mediums have numerous applications including military, industrial and consumer.
Since underwater vehicles (UUVs) and air vehicles (UAVs) already exist, the challenge is finding a way to build a vehicle that can operate in both mediums and to transition smoothly and seamlessly between them. Researchers at Rutgers have developed an unmanned vehicle, known as “The Naviator,” that is capable of maneuvering in air and underwater with a smooth transition between both mediums. They have developed a fully submersible unmanned aircraft.

Market Application:

  • Air/water surveillance
  • Search and Rescue
  • Sensor Deployment (air/underwater)
  • Inspection underwater installations, vehicles
  • Stealth operation (approach air or water)


  • Operates in both air and underwater
  • Transitions between air/water and water/air seamlessly
  • Fully submersible system
  • Uses OTS Components

Intellectual Property & Development Status:

Development Status: Patent pending. Available for licensing and/or research collaboration

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Dan Benderly
Licensing Manager
Rutgers University