Probotic ensures crucial competence

Probotic ensures crucial competence 1707 2560 Probotic

Probotic ensures crucial competence

Albert Muntadas has started as a Software Developer in Probotic on 15 November.

Muntadas (32) is from the Pyrenees in Spain and has since 2012 worked with autonomy and AUVs. He has recently completed a postdoctoral position at NTNU within technical cybernetics, specializing in docking systems of autonomous AUVs. Among other things, Albert was involved in the establishment of the start-up Searm, an autonomous underwater robot originating from NTNU.

– We are very happy to have brought in a resource like Albert on the team. Through his education and experience, he adds critical competence to the team, which will really accelerate the development, says Mikkel Pedersen, general manager of Probotic.

In his position as Development Manager for Software in Probotic, Muntadas will have overall responsibility for software development for the drone, as well as be central to the company’s strategy work on IoT and data.

Albert will lead the company’s department in Trondheim, where the company has ambitions to recruit many skilled autonomy engineers in the coming years.

Albert started right in the position with testing of the prototype at one of Probotics’ pilot customers sites.

– It is important that all members of the development team have in-depth knowledge of the real conditions out in a cage, Mikkel adds. – Therefore, we went straight to the cage and tested our prototype, the second day after Albert entered.

Probotic is now working on its fifth prototype iteration and can reveal that it will not be long before full-scale tests are implemented. -it is the docking solution and the integration of the software-management system that now has the focus and takes the most time in the development work.

Minister of Fisheries and Seafood

Minister of Fisheries and Seafood Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen visits Probotic

Minister of Fisheries and Seafood Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen visits Probotic 1024 768 Probotic

Minister of Fisheries and Seafood Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen visits Probotic

On September 17th, we had a visit from the Minister of Fisheries and Seafood, Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen.

Probotic and several other technology companies presented their ambitions and plans for the Minister at the Probotic headquarters.

In the meeting, we talked about the opportunities that lie in the aquaculture industries, and what is needed to create jobs now and for the future. More innovation and new technology is necessary to be able to develop this industry in the right direction. We demonstrated some of our prototypes of our autonomous net cleaner A2Clean, and the teams that works with this exciting development project.

For us it is important that startups and entrepreneurial activities are encouraged and we think it is good for the region and the industry that we receive political attention and we thank the Minister for prioritizing a visit to our entrepreneurial hub.
After the meeting we agreed on a new visit in 2021 for the Minister, where we promised to have more cookies and better serving. The intention will be to see how far we have come in one year and to shine a light on sustainable development in the maritime industries.

Successful testing 

Successful testing  920 613 Probotic

Successful testing

Probotic’s autonomous net cleaner is now one step closer to launch. After a successful test at pilot customer Ballangen Sjøfarm and Cermaq Norway, the team at Probotic has now achieved “Proof Of Concept.”

The prototype was tested in a cage in a weather-exposed locality, to provoke the harses conditions. The prototype went smoothly around the net and performed as planned. The prototype is programmed to move seamlessly around the entire net without any human input.

A completely autonomous and cable-free solution is considered crucial for marked acceptance for the net cleaner, which has been a problem for competing solutions in the market. Probotic have a completely new propulsion system which means that the drone is not affected by ropes, seaweed, kelp or other objects – elements that are guaranteed to meet the drone in its lifetime in the cage. The technology itself and the drone will for the time being be kept somewhat hidden, as several parts of the concept are still being developed and patented.

– Hard work since 2016 is finally starting to yield results! It is fantastic to be able to take an idea from your head and now testing the idea out in real conditions. That the prototype even worked so well was more than I could ever dream of! I had honestly prepared myself for at least some of our hypotheses to turn out to be wrong, but “damn” everything worked as planed says Mikkel Pedersen, general manager of Probotic.

Pedersen believes their key is that they know the problem they are solving and have domain knowledge and have worked with net cleaning for several years before they started Probotic.

– For example, I have been cleaning hundreds of nets over several years myself. The environment in the arctic sea is brutal, and the splash zone is perhaps one of the harshest environments there is. So, to be able to make something work stably over time in the splash zone, requires a special approach. It must be robust to easy. KISS- Keep It Simple Stupid is a way of thinking I have brought with me from my history in the army. And which I really try to implement in the development at Probotic. Most often it is, the very simple stuff that turns out to work best in the end. That said, this is where the work really begins for us! Now we have proven that our concept works so now we must refine the prototype and come with the commercial version. There are still many challenges and we must also expect setbacks on the road ahead. We have a intern goal of market launch already in 2021.

Probotic was established in 2019. The company currently has 6 permanent employees, with offices and workshops in Narvik, as well as an office in Trondheim. Probotic develops an autonomous net cleaner, which continuously keeps the nets clean. Probotic currently has a patent on the method for autonomous cleaning of nets, and has recently brought in new owners and investors.

The company was started on the basis of Mikkel Pedersen’s idee and own experiences from net cleaning, with a desire to contribute to both cost savings for fish farmers and reduce emissions as a result of fish farming. On the owner side of the company are CoFounder from Trondheim, Norinnova and Kupa in northern Norway. Innovation Norway also contributes funds to the project.

Press release

Press release 1536 1024 Probotic

– Probotic was established in 2019. The company currently has 2 permanent employees, With office and workshop premises in Narvik. Probotic currently has a patented a Method for cleaning the marine fauling on net, and has recently acquired new owners and investors.

Mikkel Pedersen got the idea for Probotic after working in the service industry with various net cleaners and ROV systems for several years. There he saw how time-consuming, expensive, and not at least risky these operations were for the fish and equipment, so he began thinking of alternative methods to keep the net clean. The result was the company Probotic, which is established to develop an automated net cleaner based on the experience he has from the industry.

With him on the team he has now got Rune Hansen, who after working on maintenance of F-16 fighter jets and different ROV systems offshore, earned a degree in economics and has worked in the field of economics in recent years. Together they are now running the development of Probotic, and have now received capital from CoFounder in Trondheim, as well as the northern Norwegian companies Norinnova and Kupa. Innovation Norway has also contributed to the development.

The founders currently run the operating company Narvik Maritime Service AS, which conducts ROV inspections. Through extensive experience from the aquaculture industry, Probotic has now established contact with many customers who see the value of the product they are developing, and has now signed an agreement with Ballangen Sjøfarm and Cermaq Norway to participate in the development and testing of the product.

Net cleaning is estimated to cost Norwegian breeders about NOK 1 billion per year

– Mikkel Pedersen, general manager of Probotic – It is fantastic to include Cermaq and Ballangen Sjøfarm on the team in the development of Probotic’s autonomous net cleaner. We have a very good starting point, but know that it will be a demanding product development cycle, and it is crucial to have customers and test sites along the way to succeed. – We are going to have an MVP in the sea this summer that will teach us a lot about how correct our assumptions have been. From there and out, it will be focusing on what we consider critical parts of the system to succeed. We have many ideas for how to solve this for our customers in a good way, and now it remains to put those ideas to life. We now have the opportunity to succeed, since we have access to capital and that we have interested and talented customers in the cooperation.

Rune Hansen
– From my previous experience as an F-16 mechanic, and the ROV pilot Offshore, I have learned the value of having work structure, and the importance of focusing on the details. We will focus on what we consider to be critical functionality for the net cleaner, and not overdo it at first. We think this is important for creating a product that the operators are happy with and not cursing over – this is where the fight will be for automatic net cleaners; it must work.

Cermaq Norway / Ballangen Sjøfarm – Probotic has shown us very good ideas, and on previous occasions has proven their ability to execute. We believe the team they now have in place, can make a product that will eventually solve many challenges for the industry. That is why we now want to support the development with our resources.