US materials research center 401 Tech Bridge and the US Navy have jointly launched a US$50,000 challenge to design a modular unmanned surface vehicle (USV).

According to 401, the US Navy requires a USV that is reusable and only needs low-cost maintenance for expeditionary duties. The USV must be produced or assembled at the point of need in less than two hours and shipped in a standard 20 foot shipping container. It should also be capable of carrying or towing a variety of payloads, the company said.

The challenge requires a written proposal to be submitted, and while it is theoretical, anyone submitting top-rated design proposals may have the opportunity to work in prototype development up to US$1 million, 401 says.

The deadline for submissions is 13 September 2021.

This story uses material from 401, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.