Kraken Robotic Systems Inc, has delivered its ThunderFish® 300 Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) to its test partner, Defense Research and Development Canada (DRDC) in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Final sea acceptance testing was completed on August 8th. The delivery to DRDC was facilitated by a $1 million contract award under the Canadian government’s Build in Canada Innovation Program.

Kraken CEO Comments

Karl Kenny, Kraken’s President & CEO said, “We are continuing development of the ThunderFish® platform to bring significant new features to the vehicle including increased size, endurance and payload capacity including the integration of our AquaPix® Multi-Spectral Synthetic Aperture Sonar and SeaVision® 3D laser scanner sensors. Our next generation ThunderFish® will meet the increasing demands for mapping, imaging, underwater operational awareness and payload delivery for a variety of commercial and military missions. The ThunderFish® will also be a key technology component in our OceanVision™ project under Canada’s Ocean Supercluster initiative. We are very pleased to successfully deliver our first pre-commercial sale of ThunderFish® to DRDC.

Marine Robotics Market Opportunity

In 2016, the marine robotics market was valued at approximately US$2 billion and is expected to reach over US$9 billion by 2025. According to a recent study by Global Info Research, defense applications generate nearly 60% of all AUV sales. Commercial applications generate approximately 25% of AUV sales, while the ocean science / research applications generate 15% of the AUV market revenue. AUVs will be increasingly used in the commercial sector, primarily because of the expense of using piloted remotely operated vehicles and the associated support ship costs. Increased AUV functionality and growing demand from the offshore energy sector are significant drivers for adopting AUVs.

Oil & gas production is rapidly making a shift to deeper subsea regions. Working in this environment makes inspection and monitoring much more difficult and raises unique challenges and environmental issues. Large AUVs, such as Kraken’s ThunderFish, can be used for deep water mapping and surveying applications, including inspections of subsea asset infrastructure.

North America currently holds the largest share of the AUV market. The increasing adoption of AUVs for military & defense applications in the USA is driving the growth of the AUV market in North America. However, the rising need for new energy sources in Asia Pacific are expected to create significant opportunities for AUV manufacturers over the coming years.

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