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Talk-12: USV Babou, a Testing and Development Platform for Larger Autonomous Systems

Alex Lorman, Lily Muir, ThayerMahan

Built on a jet-ski hull, Babou allows ThayerMahan to test software and hardware at high speed with a minimum of logistics. The vehicle is easy to transport, quick to launch and allows for rapid testing of autonomy behaviors when a larger vessel would be cumbersome. This allows the development team at ThayerMahan to embark on many smaller sea-trials rather than one large and expensive one; leveraging incremental improvements and updated behaviors as they become available. Ample mast and antenna space is available which allows new payloads and sensors to be integrated with a minimum of downtime. USV Babou runs a Pixhawk front-seat and Goby/MOOS back-seat; allowing for advanced autonomy behaviors and collaboration with other unmanned systems in the waterspace. While USB Babou is only a test article and ThayerMahan is building larger and longer-duration vehicles, thisremains a valuable test article.


  • USVs
  • Goby
  • Pixhawk