Kraken Robotics’ German subsidiary, Kraken Robotik GmbH, has secured contract funding for two development initiatives for evaluation of SeaVision sensors and AI control software for autonomous underwater vehicles.
The company informed that it has secured over $900,000 in contract funding for the two projects.
The two projects are called ARIM and RoboVaaS and are collaborative research activities funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy as part of the MarTERA Horizon 2020 initiative of the European Commission.
Both projects will use Kraken’s SeaVision sensor for monitoring and inspection services and autonomous vehicle control. SeaVision is a full-color 3D underwater laser scanner, with unprecedented scan speed and pixel density.
The contracts start in June 2018 and continue over a period of 36 months, with Kraken receiving approximately two-thirds of the funding over the next 18 months, the company noted.
In the ARIM (Autonomous Robotic sea-floor Infrastructure for bentho-pelagic Monitoring) project, Kraken will use the SeaVision system to guide and control an autonomous mobile seafloor crawler system. The crawler technology used in the project is based on the Jacobs University Wally crawler.
Together with Geomar (Germany), iSeaMC (Germany), METAS (Norway), the Marine Research Institute (Norway), ICM-CSIC (Spain) and Deusto Sistemas (Spain), Kraken will be applying the SeaVision system for navigation, autonomous obstacle avoidance and automatic identification of species in a benthic habitat environmental monitoring application.
These monitoring activities will provide important spatial-temporal data for the scientific evaluation of marine ecosystems and will furthermore provide the basis to meet the regulations for all industrial subsea activities with potential environmental impact, such as offshore oil and gas, ocean renewables and deep-sea mining.
Subsea digitalisation and digital services for shipping are at the core of the RoboVaaS (Robotic Vessels as a Service) project.
RoboVaaS will further the integration of autonomous systems, sensors, vessel and shore services into a digital service platform aimed at improving the efficiency of ports and shipping vessels. Kraken will perform a vertical integration of the SeaVision system in a ship hull inspection services platform developed by Fraunhofer CML (Germany).
Additional partners are the Hamburg Port Authority (Germany), TU Hamburg – Harburg (Germany), Sonarsim (Ireland), University of Limerick (Ireland) and University of Padova (Italy).
Dr. Jakob Schwender, managing director of Kraken Robotik GmbH said, “We are delighted to be awarded these two contracts. Aligning advanced remote sensing capabilities – such as those provided by our SeaVision system – with underwater robotics and artificial intelligence will help mitigate environmental impact on the seafloor and improve safety at sea.”