Through PicSea, Durrant aims to make underwater data more accessible to those within the scientific community that lack access to large budgets or advanced technological resources. Swarms of these new low-cost PicSea robots — deployed in hundreds or thousands — will communicate with each other and intelligently complete tasks such as seafloor surveys with capabilities beyond what is available today, said Durrant. They were already working on what they thought at the time was a low-cost AUV, and this gave me the idea to go even further: By using PicSea, Durant believes inspection tasks such as pipeline, seafloor asset, and offshore wind scour surveys can be completed accurately, much faster and at a fraction of the cost. I was able to identify the things that make it difficult and expensive to collect underwater data. For example, the other micro-AUVs are mostly designed more for water column sampling, but PicSea specializes in seabed mapping. A sea of robots; this is how the industry is going to look. While more and more companies are entering the market with novel technologies and innovative ideas, independent start-ups still need more support from the industry in the form of small grants or access to facilities.
Because of those experiences, and almost a decade later, I now have a solution. Swarms of these new low-cost PicSea robots — deployed in hundreds or thousands — will communicate with each other and intelligently complete tasks such as seafloor surveys with capabilities beyond what is available today, said Durrant. PicSea "By using hundreds or even thousands of our low-cost underwater robots, we can intelligently explore these hidden depths more easily now than ever before. PicSea increases ocean exploration and access to the technology by dramatically reducing the cost and risk associated with data collection technology. Our groundbreaking technology has dramatically reduced the cost and complexity of creating autonomous underwater vehicles. We have a unique way to navigate, and the design of the vehicle is very different to anything that exists. Eight years ago, Durrant came up with an idea of producing small, low-cost robots that could not only intelligently enter unexplored areas of our planet but also open the technology to communities who could never access it before. The autonomy of the system as a whole will allow surveys to be planned, executed and the data collected remotely, and the swarm to adapt to changing conditions while on a mission. After working in a fully equipped institute, one of the biggest challenges for me was starting my own laboratory and having to make do with whatever I could assemble myself. In the last few years alone, the industry is shifting from larger slow-adopting organizations to small innovative start-ups taking advantage of the latest trends in miniaturization and the relatively low-cost entry into the market. We offer a solution that could make a huge difference to underwater survey, exploration and research. This enables the AUVs to be permanently installed in a location or take advantage of ocean currents and solar recharging to operate perpetually. The design allows custom versions to easily be manufactured for specific use cases and users will have several deployment options including from a ship, airplane, helicopter, aerial drone, or unmanned surface vessel USV. The Time for Ocean Start-Ups The recent surge in underwater robotics has clearly demonstrated to both the industry and scientific communities how automation can be used in the data collection process. Through PicSea, Durrant aims to make underwater data more accessible to those within the scientific community that lack access to large budgets or advanced technological resources. I could make an AUV that was even more low-cost and more usable. That means they are mass manufacturable in a way that is very low-cost. For example, the other micro-AUVs are mostly designed more for water column sampling, but PicSea specializes in seabed mapping. By using PicSea, Durant believes inspection tasks such as pipeline, seafloor asset, and offshore wind scour surveys can be completed accurately, much faster and at a fraction of the cost. February 7, PicSea: PicSea is the answer. A sea of robots; this is how the industry is going to look. In environmental monitoring, whole areas can be surveyed in high detail instead of interpretations from transects, paving the way for protection, exploration, and discovery. There are grants and support, but a lot of that gets eaten up by larger institutions, and addressing this gap should be a priority for funders. I was able to identify the things that make it difficult and expensive to collect underwater data. I got a job at the University of Sydney for five years designing, maintaining, and deploying underwater robots and processing the data for clients.
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IOT//EDI Meetup: Andy Durrant - Picsea
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