On February 11, 2011, the Prime Minister of Canada, The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, P.C., M.P., the Minister of National Defence, The Honourable Peter McKay, P.C., M.P. and Senator The Honourable Fabian Manning, P.C. visited the National Research Council of Canada’s Institute for Ocean Technology (IOT) in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Dr. Mary Williams, Director General of IOT, introduced the Prime Minister and his colleagues to the engineering staff of Marine Robotics Inc. (MRI), whose Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) development laboratory is located within the Institute.
It was explained to the visitors that the twin hulled SQX AUV on display has an innovative and patent pending propulsion and control system developed together by staff of IOT and MRI. The AUV is designed to accomplish two primary missions: ocean floor surveying, as well as to be a mine countermeasures (MCM) platform. The MCM function was explained in some detail, as well as the challenge of designing and building control software that allows the AUV to conduct pre-programmed missions to completion without human intervention.