This week Belgian-Spanish startup uWare Robotics has secured €500,000 in seed funding from Semper Amplifi.
uWare Robotics is aiming to revolutionise underwater data gathering for marine conservation and blue industry.
Using proprietary technology, the company has developed the uOne, an accessible autonomous underwater drone capable of highly detailed, geolocalised and synchronised data gathering.
The uOne collects data at speeds vastly exceeding divers, currently mapping up to 5000m2 in a 2 hour dive interval, with the ability to cover vast areas by itself, eliminating the risk to human life.
Using AI technology, the underwater robot rapidly gathers data such as high-resolution RGB imagery, temperature and depth readings to monitor coastal ecosystems and related infrastructure. uWare then has the algorithms available to create 2D and 3D maps as well as to automatically analyse them.
A user can single-handedly program the mission in minutes and then deploy and retrieve the drone from a small vessel or shore without entering the water, reducing the environmental impact of a monitoring operation.
The underwater robot is particularly relevant to any scenario where standardized, repeatable and accessible data gathering is needed, enhancing what is currently done with divers and small ROVs.
This can be anything from mapping and monitoring a seagrass meadow for marine conservation management to creating and updating digital twins of ports, ships and other infrastructure for maintenance purposes.
Fraunhofer SOT is interested to work with the uOne for the frequent monitoring of our artificial reefs at the DOL because of its capabilities in autonomous gathering of geolocalized benthic habitat pictures with synchronized data points.So far, this monitoring occured previously with scientific divers and we intend to build on this experience for a use case on autonomous ecosystem monitoring for reefs.”
uWare is now preparing its growth round, which will be used to prepare the production phase and the team for international commercialization.