Tech

Palmer Luckey’s Startup Bought an Underwater Drone Company


Co-Founder of Oculus Palmer Luckey’s Anduril startup has so far focused on drones on the ground and virtual border walls, but now it’s ready to go under the waves. Companies have buying Dive Technologies, a startup focused on autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs).

Luckey’s company offered Dive’s existing DIVE-LD AUV as an option. Customizable drones can handle not only military missions like anti-submarine warfare and undersea combat zone recognition, but also peaceful missions like seabed mapping and oceanographic sensors. This might be helpful for NOAA and commercial projects as it could for the Navy, in other words. Anduril plans to integrate its Lattice OS autonomous software into the “next version” of DIVE-LD.

Part of the appeal is the manufacturing process. Dive builds DIVE-LD using a combination of large-scale 3D printing (Large Format Additive Manufacturing) and unique architecture that dramatically reduces the cost and time it takes to build a drone certain. It would be more practical to deploy large fleets of drones to monitor underwater areas. Diving team leader Bill Lebo noted the Anduril deal will help his team “scale rapidly” to better serve both military and private clients.

The purchase of Dive reflects Anduril’s rapid growth. Luckey founded the company in 2017, just a few months after being left by Facebook (now it’s Meta) following backlash over political donations. Anduril quickly earned business from the US government thanks to its AI-based virtual border wall technology, and by 2020, the government has a deal worth hundreds of millions of dollars to install vertical surveillance towers. US-Mexico border. Just started up recently landing a $968 million contract with the United States Special Operations Command for anti-drone systems. While Anduril hasn’t immediately queued up any customers for Dive’s expansion operations, it’s clearly betting that those customers will arrive as quickly as they do on projects on the ground.

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