Saab SeaEye Underwater Robots to Join Ocean Infinity’s Armada Fleet

Saab SeaEye Underwater Robots to Join Ocean Infinity’s Armada Fleet

Saab Seaeye has agreed a deal to sell ten of its new electric Work Remotely Operated Vehicles (eWROV), including further options, to leading marine robotics company Ocean Infinity. Due to this and further future contracts, Saab Seaeye is to expand by 70% to an additional 3,236m2 site in Fareham, UK, by March 2022 and is currently recruiting. 

The new eWROV product is regarded as a capable and intelligent all-electric, work-class underwater robot, that will be built in Saab Seaeye’s new facility in Fareham within the Solent Freeport.

The eWROV is the latest addition to Saab Seaeye’s underwater portfolio for use across a variety of offshore energy sectors and in ocean science and defence. It is the culmination of four years of research and development, resulting in a larger and more powerful ROV compared to those designed for light work and observation tasks.

Innovative Technology to Transform Operations at Sea

Saab Seaeye is among the first companies to produce a full-size electric work-class vehicle that can deliver the same overall performance as a 250-horsepower hydraulic vehicle, while offering a lower lifetime cost and reduced environmental impact.

Ocean Infinity is developing the world’s largest fleet of uncrewed robotic vessels and will be the eWROV’s launch customer. The eWROV will play its part in Ocean Infinity’s mission to use innovative technology to transform operations at sea, enabling people and the planet to thrive. Armada is set to revolutionize the maritime industry, delivering sustainable services that offer up to 90% emissions savings over a conventional vessel performing a similar offshore task.

Intelligent and Environment-friendly Underwater Robotics

The eWROV’s electrification is the key to its improved performance and sustainability-related attributes. As well as being more efficient, electric systems use little or no oil, making the eWROV significantly more environmentally friendly than equivalent hydraulic work-class systems. Most important, eWROV benefits from Saab Seaeye’s iCON intelligent system architecture, making it capable of fully autonomous operation.

“Ocean Infinity’s order is the largest in Saab Seaeye’s history and highlights the need for intelligent, adaptable and flexible underwater robotics. The eWROV is more efficient and cleaner than the hydraulic alternatives and it also requires less human involvement and will play an important role in future autonomous vessel fleets. We are confident the eWROV will serve Ocean Infinity well,” said Magnus Lewis-Olsson, chairman of Saab UK.

“Lessening the environmental impact of operations at sea is the main driver behind the development of Armada. The all-electric eWROV, in addition to our already low-emission vessels, will enable us to support our customers with infrastructure integrity projects in the most environmentally responsible way. The eWROVs will form an important part of our Armada architecture; through integration with our dynamic payload controller, we’ll be able to deploy and operate them anywhere in the world from our remote control centres,” said Dan Hook, chief technology officer, Ocean Infinity.

Saab Seaeye’s new eWROV is an intelligent all-electric, work-class underwater robot. (Courtesy: Saab Seaeye)