AutoNaut Ltd, a global leader in autonomous wave propelled vessels, has formally become a partner with the Marine Robotics Innovation Centre. UK-based AutoNaut and the NOC has enjoyed a long-term relationship since 2013 and this move is a sign of the company’s increasing ambitions.

Recent investment from the Seiche Group has enabled AutoNaut to expand manufacturing facilities and engineering expertise as well as recruit several new members of staff. A desk in the innovation centre will be utilized by AutoNaut Ltd technical and business development personnel to work alongside the NOC’s marine autonomy and robotics team.

The NOC first worked with AutoNaut (then trading as MOST [AV]) in 2013 on a government-backed Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition. Following the success of this competition the NOC purchased an AutoNaut vehicle, which now sits as part of its fleet.

In 2014 the vehicle’s maiden voyage for the NOC was the participation in Europe’s largest single deployment of surface and submarine autonomous vehicles for the MASSMO (Marine Autonomous Systems in Support of Marine Observations) project. The NOC’s AutoNaut, Gordon, weathered Atlantic storms whilst successfully collecting a range of oceanography and acoustic data, whilst tracking birds and fish with cameras and hydrophones.

Professor Russell Wynn, Chief Scientist of the MASSMO program commented, “AutoNaut is a great addition to the NOC fleet bringing with it unique capabilities, and we’re very much looking forward to using the vehicle during forthcoming science missions.”

Kevin Forshaw, Associate Director, Innovation and Enterprise at NOC added, “We are excited to welcome AutoNaut Ltd into the Innovation Centre and to have this opportunity to further strengthen our working relationship by having someone on site.”

David Maclean of AutoNaut Ltd commented “It’s the right time for us to now join the team at the Marine Robotics Innovation Centre and push on with our ambitious development plans for 2017.”

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