Kraken Robotics Inc. subsidiary, Kraken Robotic Systems Inc. said it has established a new facility in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia to field test and support its range of underwater robotic platforms and technologies.
The new 4,000-square-foot Unmanned Maritime Vehicles Facility (UMVF) is located at the Center for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship (COVE), a marine technologies innovation hub.
Kraken said its Handling Systems Group has already moved into the new location and will continue to build the firm's Tentacle Winch and Autonomous Launch and Recovery Systems there. The facility will also be used to field test and support Kraken's various underwater robotic platforms, including the KATFISH high speed towed synthetic aperture sonar (SAS) system and the THUNDERFISH autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). Kraken has also installed a dockside remote operations container which is available for use by COVE residents.
Unmanned maritime vehicles (UMVs) are robotic systems which operate both below and above the surface and without an operator on board. UMVs are split into three submarkets: AUVs, remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROV) and unmanned surface vehicles (USV).
UMVs can range from very small vessels to that of a mid-sized ship or small submarine and are equipped with a variety of mapping, communications and navigation sensors. These systems are used in multiple applications such as naval mine detection, seafloor mapping, underwater asset infrastructure inspection, environmental characterization and others.
"The global UMV market is experiencing significant growth and investment in both military and commercial markets," said Karl Kenny, Kraken's President & CEO. "While most of the today's global UMV market is military, the adoption trend of UMVs is increasing among various commercial sectors such as oil and gas exploration operators, hydrographic and oceanographic survey organizations, environmental monitoring and search/recovery teams. UMVs are also being adopted by various scientific research organizations for conducting oceanic studies and maritime surveys."
COVE CEO, Jim Hanlon, said, "We are now seeing a revolution in unmanned maritime robotics similar to what happened when unmanned aerial drones were introduced in the 2000s. Both military and commercial operators are realizing the missions that can be accomplished with ocean drones and robotics. Maritime entities are becoming very interested in getting a better return-on-investment using drones and not having to put people at risk. That cultural shift is happening across the maritime sector.
"Kraken brings considerable technology and expertise to the underwater robotics domain and we are delighted that they are establishing Unmanned Maritime Vehicles Facility at COVE," Hanlon added.