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Canadian underwater robotics company Kraken Robotics Inc., announces that it has acquired 13 Robotics Ltda of Brazil (“13R”). 13 Robotics, with offices in Rio de Janeiro and Salvador, Brazil, is an underwater services company that has designed and executed a number of interesting autonomous underwater systems, primarily in the energy market. 13R focuses on autonomous underwater inspection systems, including applications such as hydrodynamic turbine inspections and tank inspections. The company brings experience with deep sea installation as well. The deal was for $220,000 cash.
Kraken Robotics is a public company (TSX-V: PNG | OTCQB: KRKNF), based in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada. Kraken has been around since 2008. Over the last two years, the company has developed its’ Synthetic Aperture Sonar (SAP) – a tool for underwater imaging. SAP dramatically improves seabed surveys by providing ultra-high resolution imagery at superior coverage rates. Kraken also provides sonar based solutions to several navies around the world and has a product line of underwater autonomous robots called “Thunderfish”.
The 13R company is currently involved in three projects: EMMA (In situ Metallization of Turbine Blades in Hydroelectric Plants), ROSA (Stoplogs Instrumentation in Hydropower Plants) and HEADS (Automatic Hydrocarbon Detection System), and SQUIDBOT (AUV for Tank Inspection) dealing with environments as diverse as hydroelectric power plants, oil tanks or deep sea installations.
Commenting on the acquisition, Karl Kenny, Kraken President and CEO said, “Kraken has known and worked with members of the 13R team since 2016. We look forward to utilizing their expertise in robotic system development, leveraging their relationships with leading international energy companies, and to them providing a base of opportunity for Robotics/Data as a Service capabilities in South America. As the offshore energy markets continue to focus on reduction of costs and reduction of greenhouse gases through the use of resident autonomous systems, Kraken and the 13R team will be well positioned to support the need for clean, efficient and cost-effective technology.”
13R, will be renamed to: Kraken Robotics Brasil Ltda. The company will continue to focus on the following market segments:
- 13R’s substantial experience in Artificial Intelligence and Autonomy will both complement and augment Kraken’s existing offerings, reducing time to market for new applications of Kraken’s SeaVision underwater 3D laser scanner.
- 13R has a demonstrated track-record in subsea autonomy for seabed resident AUVs, including dynamic path planning, obstacle detection and avoidance, underwater docking, and adaptive failure-tolerant control systems, all of which will directly benefit Kraken’s ThunderFish XL Seabed Resident AUV program.
- 13R’s continued work in resident systems with multi-modal inspection capabilities will support Kraken’s ongoing applications in digital twinning of critical subsea assets.
- Furthermore, Kraken’s acquisition of 13R provides technical and commercial on-the-ground access to the Brazilian offshore oil and gas industry, opening the door to further opportunities in that major market
The website for13R is already redirecting visitors to the main Kraken Robotics site.
Kraken is on a bit of an acquisition streak as it recently announced that it has entered into a non-binding letter of intent (the “LOI”) dated April 8, 2021 in connection with the proposed acquisition of PanGeo Subsea Inc. (“PanGeo”) from Cahill Innovation Inc, a member of the Cahill Group of Companies, and Argentum Asset Management AS. PanGeo is a private Canadian services company specializing in high resolution 3D acoustic imaging solutions for the sub-seabed. This proposed acquisition would accelerate Kraken’s transformation to a Robotics/Data as a Service model by increasing recurring service revenue and providing increased exposure to the non-defense market, including the offshore renewable energy market. Following completion of the proposed acquisition, Kraken would offer a holistic solution of world-leading technologies and services in subsea acoustic and optical imaging: Kraken’s suite of ultra-high resolution seabed 3D acoustic imaging sensors, autonomous robotics, and optical laser scanning paired with PanGeo’s suite of leading-edge sub-seabed high resolution 3D acoustic imaging systems.
The world under the sea is one of the few remaining frontiers on planet earth. Companies like Kraken Robotics continue to push the limits of our understanding of the undersea world, and are opening up the market for autonomous, commercial applications. 13 Robotics developed a solid reputation for their services and technology prior to the acquisition. This acquisition is a signal that this market is transitioning from being a domain for research, to one of active commercialization. Kraken continues to grow its business by acquiring other market leading companies. The underwater autonomy market is one more robotics area to watch in the coming years.