About ecoSUB Robotics Limited
ecoSUB Robotics is spun out of Planet Ocean Limited, a UK based marine science technology specialist, following extensive collaboration with the Marine Autonomous Robotics Systems (MARS) group at National Oceanography Centre (NOC), UK.
ecoSUB Robotics Limited's engineering and development team are based in the Marine Robotics Innovation Centre in the NOC, Southampton, UK, benefiting from the facilities and expertise located within hub of UK marine autonomous systems development.
The ecoSUB program began in 2015 with an Innovate UK and DSTL funded project which included the development of the ecoSUBu for autonomous launch and recovery via an unmanned surface vehicle. Early stakeholder engagement indicated a strong interest in the AUV concept and a larger vehicle, ecoSUBm, was quickly conceived to meet the emerging needs of the oil & gas industry and provide all users with a platform that can host multiple payloads, yet retain convenience of use and affordability.
ecoSUB AUVs were originally conceived to carry very limited payload and only use dead reckoning for navigation - serving a wide range of applications where precision navigation was not critical and making accessibility to AUV technology much easier for many users. However, recent advances in both navigation and engineering solutions and approaches for payload integrations have very much changed this approach. ecoSUB AUV platforms remain extremely low cost systems and now offer users advanced capabilities for a much wider range of applications. Network Localisation, using acoustic modem technology to localise vehicles underwater and recent advances in micro-DVL technology have dramatically shifted ecoSUB AUVs ability to navigate accurately and geo-reference data collection, extending the vehicles ability to operate with imaging payloads like side scan sonar.
Users recognise the potential of ecoSUB AUVs for applications in hostile environments where the risk of vehicle loss is high, the availability of ecoSUB AUV technology is enabling applications in environments that would otherwise have been too risky to deploy traditional AUV systems (typically costing >£500k). Our ecoSUBu5 (costing ~£10k) has already been deployed in the Arctic to investigate calving ice shelves, and we are very proud to facilitate exciting science like this.
Although we have worked with many early adopters and supplied many vehicles to these users, 2020 brought the opportunity to accept purchase orders for our full production vehicles. Our production vehicles mark a substantial investment in re-spinning many parts of our advanced prototype systems and engineering robustness, user convenience and manufacturability into the platforms. We have also continued to extend the range of payload integrations available for the platforms and welcome user requests for new integrations.