The South Coast Marine Cluster leads the maritime and marine industry in Applied Autonomy and Robotics, with marine applications including defence, surveying and scientific industries.

For full details of the South Coast Marine Cluster’s Applied Autonomy and Robotics research institutions and testing facilities and examples of South Coast businesses succeeding in this field, please download the brochure here.

National Oceanography Centre

The National Oceanography Centre Marine Autonomous and Robotic Systems research group has been at the forefront of AUV design and development for marine science applications for over 20-years. Innovative companies are working with world-class scientists and technicians, accessing a range of specialist engineering and testing facilities.

The University of Plymouth Marine Institute’s Autonomous Marine Systems Research Group comprises a multidisciplinary team working on the application of artificial intelligence techniques for the navigation, guidance and control of autonomous vehicles, wave energy devices and marine propulsion systems. The University is one of the key partners in the Mayflower Autonomous Ship project.

University of Plymouth ROV
Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS)

The Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS) project’s challenge is to design and build the first unmanned ship to sail across the Atlantic, following the original pilgrims’ route from Plymouth UK to the USA. This exciting project will push the boundaries in terms of autonomous technology and develop new platforms for oceanographic research.

ASV is an award-winning example of our autonomous system manufacturing strength. ASV’s Managing director Dan Hook explains: Our products are used in applications that are too dull, dirty or dangerous for humans. We design the vehicles, cut metal and weld them, write the software, make the electronics and operate the boats, offering a complete system solution.”


ATLAS ELEKTRONIK UK Ltd (AEUK) based on the Dorset Innovation Park in Winfrith Newburgh, is a defence contractor in the naval and maritime systems domain, providing innovative products to governments in the UK, and around the world. The ARCIMS Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) is one of the most successful in-service Maritime Autonomous Mission Systems. It is the system of choice for several navies and is highly customisable for multiple mission roles including Minesweeping, Mine Hunting and Disposal and Coastal Surveillance and ASW, Hydrography, Maritime Security and Force Protection.