The BlueBoat is the planet’s most affordable robotic surface vessel. With an innovative hull design, endless expansion possibilities, and open-source BlueOS software, it’s the ideal platform for hydrographic surveys and robotics system development.
The BlueBoat was born from a desire to make uncrewed surface vessels just as easy to get started with as ROVs and drones. Even with many options on the market, we saw a lot of room for improvement. We started from a clean sheet and designed the vehicle that we wanted to have ourselves, then worked tirelessly to perfect it and make it as affordable as possible. The result is the BlueBoat.The BlueBoat is the planet’s most affordable surface vessel for hydrographic surveys, robotic systems development, and scientific missions. Its weedless hull and propeller design, rugged construction, and compact transport size make it reliable and convenient to use, while its flexible electronics architecture, ample payload mounting areas, and open-source BlueOS software system make it an ideal platform for integration of sonars and other sensors.
The BlueBoat exists for you to build on top of and is easily and endlessly expandable.
It’s a hydrographer’s pickup truck
Weedless. Like, actually.
From the beginning, our vision for the BlueBoat has been one of reliability and trustworthiness. We knew from our own experiences with the SolarSurfer that getting stuck on weeds or debris quickly turns your uncrewed vehicle into an inconvenient and expensive rescue situation. So we developed a unique design that eliminates that problem.
The BlueBoat’s unique deep hull shape pushes weeds and debris down and out of the way. Anything that isn’t pushed down is brushed away by highly swept weedless propellers driven by two M200 Motors. That means that whether you’re doing a bathymetric survey in a weed-filled lake or studying a plastic-polluted waterway, you can count on the BlueBoat to get it done.
Autonomy is not an option – it comes standard.
Every BlueBoat includes a Navigator Flight Controller, GPS, and ArduRover control firmware with advanced autonomous navigation capabilities. Out of the box it can perform precision GPS waypoint navigation, position hold at a location, follow-me maneuvers, geo-fencing, automatic return-to-home if radio signal is lost, and more. Drag and drop mission planning makes it easy to design a complex mission in minutes.
If you prefer to operate the vehicle manually or take pride in smoothly docking it at the end of a mission, you can use a joystick controller to show off your skills.
Missions for days
Literally! The BlueBoat has best-in-class endurance capabilities with over 60 hours of continuous operating time when carrying the maximum supported number of batteries. Even with a single battery, it runs for upwards of 9 hours and can travel over 30 km.
Ship to Shore aka BlueBoat to BaseStation
The BlueBoat has a long-range wifi radio that connects to the BaseStation box from up to 1 km away using the standard antennas. The BaseStation acts as a wifi access point that you can connect to to interact with the boat. It has an internal battery as well as a USB-C port for charging and a hardwired network connection.
If you’re operating multiple boats, they can all be connected through a single BaseStation box. In addition to the wifi radios, the BlueBoat will eventually be compatible with other types of communication for longer range, such as 4G LTE and Iridium satellite communications.
Just trunks, no trailers
With a folding hull and frame design, the BlueBoat fits in the trunk of just about any car. Quick release handles allow you to switch between the folded and deployed configurations in seconds.
Float your boat without sinking your wallet
The BlueBoat has an affordable price tag compared to other uncrewed surface vessels on the market, but it’s built to rigorous quality standards and designed with years of experience building subsea hardware.
We put attention into every detail, from the labeling on the internal wiring connections to the satisfying *click!* of the latches as you close it up. It can be hard to tell by looking at pictures on the internet, but we can assure you that when you get the BlueBoat in your hands, it just feels right.
So, ready to BlueBoat?
The BlueBoat comes almost fully assembled and only takes a few minutes to get into the water. In addition to the boat, you’ll need a few things to get started:
- Laptop – We recommend a medium to high-end model with Windows 10, Mac, or Linux operating systems. There are also some compatible tablets including the Windows Surface tablets. iOS and Android are not officially supported at this time.
- Battery – We recommend our 14.8v, 15.6Ah lithium-ion battery for the best battery life, but we can’t ship it to all locations! There are other compatible batteries that can be used as well. We’d recommend getting a few for extended operation.
- Battery Charger – We have a recommended charger as well, but any lithium-ion battery charger that can handle your battery will work!
- Gamepad Controller (optional) – If you want to control the boat manually, we recommend a gamepad controller like the Xbox Wireless Controller.
|Endurance @ 1 m/s (~30 W), no payload:|
|2 Batteries (532 Wh, 2.4 kg)||18 hrs (65 km)|
|4 Batteries (1064 Wh, 4.7 kg)||36 hrs (130 km)|
|6 Batteries (1596 Wh, 7.0 kg)||50 hrs (180 km)|
|8 Batteries (2128 Wh, 9.3 kg)||62 hrs (220 km)|
|Solar Power (user equipped)||Indefinite|
|Maximum Speed (2 batteries, no payload)||3 m/s||6 kts|
|Maximum Static Thrust||8.2 kgf||18 lbf|
|Temperature Rating (air)||-25 to 40°C||-13 to 104°F|
|Temperature Rating (water)||0 to 40°C||32 to 104°F|
|Payload and Expansion Capabilities|
|Payload Capacity (batteries + payload)||15 kg||33 lb|
|Payload Power||Battery Voltage @ 60 A (Direct Connection)
Battery Voltage @ 10 A (Fuse Board)
5V Auxiliary @ 5 A (Fuse Board)
|Penetrator Holes (Starboard Hatch Lid)||2 x M10
Area to drill more
|Penetrator Holes (Port Hatch Lid)||4 x M10
2 x M14
Area to drill more
|Available Ports and Interfaces||3 x Serial UART
Ethernet (Blue Robotics Ethernet Switch required)
2 x USB 2.0
2 x USB 3.0
1 x 16-bit ADC (3.3 V)
1 x 16-bit ADC (6.6 V)
|Dimensions (Length x Width x Height)||120 x 93 x 46 cm (deployed)
120 x 71 x 24 cm (folded)
120 x 46 x 20 cm (packaged)
|47 x 36.5 x 18 in (deployed)
47 x 28 x 9.5 in (folded)
47 x 18 x 8 in (packaged)
|Weight (no batteries or payload)||14.5 kg||32 lb|
|Freeboard (2 batteries, no payload)||160 mm||6.3 in|
|Maximum Draft (maximum payload)||320 mm||12.6 in|
|Propulsion||2 x M200 Motor w/ Weedless Propeller|
|Propeller Diameter||112 mm||4.4 in|
|Navigation Light||5V 2W LED, White All-Around, PWM-Programmable Flashing|
|Primary Materials||LDPE (hulls)
30% Glass-filled Polycarbonate
|Wireless Communications Protocol||802.11a/b/g/n (2412 – 2462MHz)|
|Wireless Router||MikroTik RBGroove-52HPn|
|Default Wireless Configuration||Client Mode (CPE)|
|BaseStation Router Default IP Address||192.168.2.3|
|BlueBoat Router Default IP Address||192.168.2.4|
|Included Antenna||7 dBi 2.4Ghz Omnidirectional, N-Male Connector|
|Wireless Range (w/ included antennas)||up to 1 km||up to 0.54 nm|
|Wireless Range (w/ directional antennas, not included)||>10 km||>5.4 nm|
|Cellular & Satellite Communications||Capable, see integration guides|
|Onboard Operating System||BlueOS|
|Onboard Operating System Default Address||blueos.local (192.168.2.2)|
|Recommended Mission-planning Software||QGroundControl or Mission Planner|
|Navigation Capabilities||Manual Control (w/ Joystick)
Waypoint Navigation (Auto)
Position Hold (Loiter)
Return-to-Home (if connection lost)
|Electronics and Electrical System|
|Onboard Computer||Raspberry Pi 4 w/ BlueOS|
Dual 3-DOF compasses
|GPS||mRobotics M10034-M9N, (NEO-M9N, IST8308)|
|Speed Controllers||Basic ESC 500 (BlueBoat Configuration)|
|Power Load Switching||PowerSwitch (120A, 4S/6S Battery, Current/Voltage Sense, 5V/8A Out)|
|Recommended Battery||Blue Robotics 4S Lithium-Ion|
|Input Voltage Range||12–26 VDC¹ (4S–6S Batteries)|
|4S Low Battery Voltage Protection Cutoff||8 V|
|6S Low Battery Voltage Protection Cutoff||12 V|
|5V Auxiliary Output||5 A|
|Individual Battery Fuses||60 A MIDI|
|System Fuse||150 A MIDI|
|Fuse Board||Mini-ATC (2 A, 5 A, 10 A fuses included)|