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In this paper, we present a new small autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) called Taipan 300. First, we detail its technical features. Then, we explain how the particular hardware design of this vehicle makes its recovery easier in case of software or hardware failure. In fact this prototype offers enhanced safety measures in order to detect computer failure and to facilitate vehicle localization after it has resurfaced. In a third part, we describe the sliding control used. The last part consists in the presentation of the results obtained during experiments.