SEA-KIT is joining forces with University of Essex academics to create a secure and intelligent communication system for the control of unmanned surface vessels (USV).
The company has won funding as part of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) by the UK Government’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.
This funding will help SEA-KIT to commercialise its USV offer by building bespoke vessels for its clients in the offshore energy sector.
SEA-KIT was introduced to the University of Essex by specialist business support agency, Invest ESSEX. The collaboration will seek to commercialise the technology that was developed as part of SEA-KIT’s winning entry to the Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE competition. This global competition recognises advances in ocean technologies for rapid, unmanned and high-resolution ocean exploration and discovery.
Peter Walker, Director of Technology at Sea-Kit International Ltd, said: “The team here at SEA-KIT is intent on coupling our proven USV designs with robust communications systems that function even in the harshest offshore conditions. Everyone working in the offshore energy sector is in pursuit of greater efficiencies. We want to disrupt the current market offering with innovations that enable the control of USVs for over-the-horizon missions and reliable retrieval of sensor data from equipment onboard, whilst also reducing cost and carbon footprint. This partnership with the University of Essex taps into their vast network science and AI knowledge base and we are looking forward to working with the team there.”
The University of Essex will employ a researcher to work full time with SEA-KIT. They will be tasked with leading the project, with support from Essex Academics, to ensure that the technology developed through the KTP achieves strong commercial impact and research benefit.
Read more on the University of Essex’s website here.
Fugro, the world’s leading Geo-data specialist, has announced their strategic partnership with SEA KIT International to develop a new range of agile and compact uncrewed surface vessels (USVs) which can deploy remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) for marine asset inspections. The first USVs will be launched before the end of this year, and a larger USV model is being designed for delivery in 2021. These inspection-related USVs are being developed alongside Fugro’s range of USVs for hydrographic data acquisition.
Fugro and SEA-KIT International will accelerate the development and use of uncrewed vessels, remotely operated from Fugro’s ROCs, to improve safety, efficiency, and reduce the environmental impact on marine activities. The new range of USVs will consume up to 95% less fuel than traditional vessels, supporting international ambitions for zero global emissions in the marine industry.
Read the full announcement from Fugro here.
Here at SEA-KIT we are delighted to announce we have not only, made it into ECO’s Top Ten Ocean Influencers of 2019! but have won in the Innovation category!
It is a great honour to have been awarded this title by such a well-respected publication, and to be featured under the innovation section is something we have been aiming towards since our start. Innovation is truly at our core, alongside working for healthier oceans all across the globe.
We would not have been able to gain such recognition without the help of many. We hope that this is just the beginning of getting the SEA-KIT name out there. Widespread recognition is needed for SEA-KIT in order to continue innovation, and to not only catch the eyes of those who will use SEA-KIT but for those who will enable us to spread awareness of the great things the unmanned vessel can achieve.
Read the Environment Coastal and Offshore article here.
We hope to be sharing more great news soon.
Another feature for SEA-KIT! Follow the link to discover more.
“SEA-KIT said it has completed a second offshore pipeline campaign for Equinor in the North Sea. The campaign, undertaken in July 2019, is the first fully unmanned offshore pipeline inspection ‘over the horizon’ ever completed, surveying up to 100 kilometers from the shore.”
“The blocky, 36-foot-long, yellow- and white-striped vessel bobbing off the coast of the United Kingdom sure doesn’t look like much. But Maxlimer just might be the most important ship in the world right now.”
SEA-KIT features in the Daily Beast, follow the link on the image to read even more about the journey so far.
It was a great experience working with Swire Seabed to achieve this world first. SEA-KIT’s operations team managed to successfully deploy, retrieve, and transmit control and position data to the HUGIN AUV from our 12m USV.
“The campaign, undertaken in July 2019, is the first fully unmanned offshore pipeline inspection ‘over the horizon’ ever completed, surveying up to 100 kilometers from the shore.”
Follow the link below to find out more!
The XPRIZE competition allowed SEA-KIT International to increase awareness, drive motivation and take the next steps that ocean technology so desperately needed for the future of our planet. The completion of the competition meant that SEA-KIT now have to utilise the opportunities XPRIZE have created.
Our time of reflection was short, we dived back into research and testing to ensure we start creating a real impact. Our future plans will all be revealed soon, but until then it’s good to focus on what the other teams achieved and how robotics in the maritime industry can change the world for the best.
Innovation is key!
SEA-KIT is featured in an article written for the National Geographic. We are honoured to be featured in something so educational and ground breaking. We will continue gaining coverage to ensure the deep importance of SEA-KIT in understood by all.
Please have a read of the article (linked below) and share as much as possible to spread the word!
Get to know a bit more about the science behind our mission, the research and our future plans. The article below, written by Hilary Brueck, gives an insight into why the XPRIZE competition is so important to future developments in scientific discoveries & technological and medical advances.
“The oceans are Earth’s least explored space.
Blanketing more than two-thirds of the planet, the seas hide clues about questions like “when is the next tsunami?,” “where did that plane crash?,” and even “how high will sea levels rise?”
Today, XPRIZE — the non-profit started by Peter Diamandis that awards multi-million dollar prizes to spur new inventions — awarded $4 million to a team that built a pair of robots to help solve some of those mysteries.
The autonomous vehicles are designed to explore the deepest corners of the sea floor, places fewer than a handful of humans have ever visited. The robots work together to map the bottom of the ocean: One vehicle, named “Hugin,” moves below the waves, while the other, “SeaKIT,” stays on the surface.
“Our vision for the ocean is a healthy, valued and understood ocean,” Jyotika Virmani, XPRIZE’s executive director of prize operations, told Business Insider. “A map is the most basic level of understanding that we can get to … and we just don’t have that map yet.”
The winning team wants to map the entire sea floor by 2030
“We were 78 people from 22 countries that worked on the project,” project director Rochelle Wigley said when the prize winners were announced in Monaco on Friday. “Our diversity wasn’t only in nationalities, it was in education, careers, backgrounds, gender, color, age. We were truly diverse.”
During the final phase of the XPRIZE competition in Greece, their pair of vehicles successfully mapped an area of the sea 250 square kilometers wide and 4,000 meters below the surface in 24 hours. That’s an area more than twice the size of Paris.
Creating a good map of the sea floor would help scientists better predict tsunamis, estimate sea-level rise, and assist rescue crews as they hunt for downed planes and ships.
The team’s winning device is relatively low-cost. The two vessels use satellites and broadband radio to communicate, and they employ sonar to map the sea floor. No humans are required to step foot in the water for the system to work. When the Hugin submarine is ready to return home, it simply parks itself inside the bigger SeaKIT ship.
GEBCO-NF Alumni wants to map the entire sea floor by 2030 using the pair of robotic ocean explorers. It’s an ambitious plan, considering that less than 10% of the world’s oceans have been mapped to date.
To work more quickly, the team uses cloud-based data processing that speeds up the mapping process. That way, instead of waiting two to three weeks for a map to render, the process can be done in days, at a detail level of 5-meter resolution.
“If you put a DNA sensor on the technology, you could actually even sniff out and figure out the distribution of invasive species,” Virmani said”