Kraken Sonar has signed a licensing agreement for underwater robotics technology with Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation (IOSB).
Fraunhofer has developed the Dedave autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) which is an integral part of the agreement.
Kraken will exclusively license the Dedave software and hardware IP and technology for large AUVs and acquire the 6000 meters rated Dedave AUV as a sensor and robotics technology demonstration platform.
“Access to the Dedave IP, combined with our existing AUV IP portfolio, significantly reduces our development cost and lead-time and mitigates the technical risk for Kraken’s underwater robotics,” said David Shea, Kraken’s VP Engineering.
In addition, Kraken will establish a long term technical co-operation program with Fraunhofer for hydrodynamic control systems, mission planning and autonomy algorithms that can be deployed in Kraken’s upcoming ThunderFish AUV program.
Kraken plans to upgrade the Dedave vehicle with larger sensors, including Kraken’s Minsas 120 sonar with real time SAS processor. The vehicle size will be increased by about 30% to support the larger payload capacity. The addition of tunnel thrusters will also provide a hovering capability for target inspection and precision maneuvering, the company explained.
Karl Kenny, Kraken president and CEO said, “Kraken and Fraunhofer have been collaborating in a successful customer-vendor relationship for the past several years. This new agreement takes our relationship to a whole new level. As the largest organization for applied research in Europe, Fraunhofer has significant expertise with vehicle control systems engineering. This experience, when combined with our internally developed robotics capability and the talent in our recently opened Bremen office will position Kraken as a leading contender in the underwater robotics industry. “
Prof. Dr. Thomas Rauschenbach, head of the Advanced System Technology Branch of Fraunhofer IOSB added, “We are delighted to have found an industrial partner with significant expertise in both maritime sensor and robotics technology. We look forward to a long-term relationship with Kraken and will help them continue to develop advanced robotic technologies that can be commercialized in world class products.”
The parties did not disclose the specific terms of the agreement.