USV Bruce world leader in on-water surveillance

USV Bruce world leader in on-water surveillance

Sea trials are being scheduled for the latest Stinger Bluebottle Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV)following its recent christening and maiden voyage.

The 5.6m Stinger, named Bruce, has been developed by Oscius Technology in partnership with leading Australian fibreglass boat manufacturer, Steber International of Taree.

“Bruce will have more power from solar, more payload space, carrying and towing ability and better performance under all conditions than any known USV globally”, according to Oscius CEO, Robert Dane.

The USV was christened Bruce after Bruce Heggie from Ulladulla Surfboards who has worked with SolarSailor and Ocius for 20 years; Bruce Steber, founder of Steber International, and “Bruce the Shark” from the movie Finding Nemo.

The ceremony was carried out at the University of NSW by Bruce Heggie and Bruce Steber’s grandson, Brayd in front of an appreciative audience that included former Primer Minister, Bob Hawke, chairman of the Oscius advisory board.

During his address, Colin Steber (son of Bruce, father of Brayd and Steber International Business Development Manager) reflected on first meeting Robert Dane at a Hunter manufacturing showcase at NSW Parliament House in 2012.

Later that year Robert visited Steber’s Taree factory and the good synergies between the two businesses saw a partnership develop and a joint display mounted at Pacific 2013.

“Ocius and Steber released the Bluebottle range of USVs, Stinger and Nemo. By the end of the expo everyone was talking about us”, Colin enthused.

“We then built another Nemo, to a totally different design, which Robert and his team spent months sailing and testing. This was displayed at Pacific 15.

“We have built various tank testing models over the last four years.

“The construction of the 5.6m model Bruce began in May this year. This is the first USV we have built that could go into service.

“As it is a prototype we used a cold mould form of construction which is an effective way to produce a ‘one-off’ prototype. The disadvantage is the mould is destroyed in the process so we
cannot make another from the same mould.

“The project certainly came with it’s challenges. One being the requirement of a parallel reinforced area inside the keel. How do you get inside a curved shaped, already formed, and make a parallel
surface? Lucky we have a very intelligent and innovative team working for us, who came up with the solution.

“This has been an exciting development for Steber. It has been a journey since we first met Robert.

“The concept of the solar and wind powered USVs is something Steber sees a future in and Ocius and Steber have worked well together in each of the developments, and now today, we have Bruce’,
he concluded.

Above:Father and son Colin and Brayd Steber at the “Bruce” christening.
Below:Bruce Heggie and Brayd following the ceremony, plus overall photo of guests, featuring former Prime Minister, Bob Hawke.