On the countdown to Oceanology International 2020, we spoke with Richard Mills, Vice President Marine Robotics Sales at Kongsberg Maritime, who will be leading our technical session on Unmanned Vehicle Concepts of Operations. He talked about the future of the ocean tech industry, Kongsberg’s latest launch and what we should expect from his session at Oi 2020.
Oi: What is your Oi story? Why do you come to the show and how has it affected your business?
Richard Mills: Oi is perhaps the most comprehensive event for one of our key markets. It brings most of the commercial and scientific participants together in one place making it possible for us to connect with our partners, customers and end users.
I have been coming to Oi for 12 years and it is the most consistently well attended show. Not only is the exhibit hall well packed with new technology, but also the conference sessions and in-water demonstrations provide a more holistic experience, so we can show attendees how things work and what the benefits are.
Oi: What developments have you made in the last 24 months since the last Oi London show?
RM: Since the last Oi in 2018, we have introduced the HUGIN Superior Autonomous Underwater Vehicle and the Sounder Unmanned Surface Vessel.
HUGIN Superior brings the best capabilities that we can offer, along with some new sensors and behaviours for AUVs, into a single package. The concept is to generate more data, of better quality, and combine it with the best position solution. It covers a greater area and has better mission endurance than the standard HUGIN, reducing the total cost of ownership for our customers. The outcome is, in our opinion, the best AUV available.
Sounder is our first fully integrated USV. It has the proven K-MATE control system, as used by the Nippon Foundation-GEBCO alumni winning X-Prize entry. Now we have a hull designed specifically for stability, endurance and hydroacoustic performance. It is capable of carrying a range of sonars for mapping, fishery and defence applications.
Oi: Where do you see the future of the industry headed and how do you plan to grow with it as a business?
RM: For us, and many of our customers, the focus in the future is making data more meaningful, more usable and more accessible. We are working on in-mission data processing for cleaning, event reporting and the detection of objects of interest. This is an evolution of capabilities we have had in the defence segment for some time. Now we are bringing it to the commercial world.
To enable better accessibility, we developed Mapping Cloud. This combines data collection, transmission, cloud data services and online remote processing. This enables operators to remove surveyors from vessels, and have global access to a full data set globally in near real-time. The aim of Mapping Cloud is to share better data, with scalable processing tools, for faster and better decision-making.
Oi: What can we expect from your session at Oi 2020?
RM: I am chairing a session in the conference focused on new concepts of operations for unmanned systems. We have presentations from commercial and scientific presenters representing manufacturers and operators. I hope to see some new technology, but more importantly, new applications and how to optimize their operations.
View the full Technical Conference programme here and register to visit Oi and join Richard Mills.