With the entry of Ifremer into its capital, the start-up Forseea is focusing on MRE and scientific exploration

The underwater robotics company Forssea Robotics designs and manufactures subsea robotics and visual positioning technologies. Forssea is pleased to announce that Ifremer – the French National Institute for Ocean Science – recently acquired an equity interest in the company. The company anticipates rapid expansion in the fields of marine renewable energies and scientific exploration and Ifremer once again marks its ambition to drive innovation in the blue economy.

on July 28, 2020

© Forssea Robotics
© Forssea Robotics

Since its creation in 2016, Forssea has developped two remotely operated vehicles: Atoll et Argos. « We have developped and patented our own vehicles as we were looking for a modern, light,  all-electric platform but powerful enough to meet the demands of today’s industry. Our solutions would make it possible to divide the operating costs of fossil fuel deposits or MRE sites by five » says Gautier Dreyfus, co-founder and CEO of Forssea. These systems are now in the final qualification phase, for the deployment and recovery of underwater beacons alongside drilling campaigns and oil constructions.

Ifremer foresees other applications for its oceanographic expeditions and underwater observatories and a collaboration was set up in 2019. Since then, Forssea has regularly visited the Centre Ifremer de la Seyne-sur-Mer to test its systems.

« We want to improve the robotization of the most repeatable tasks, such as visual inspection or cleaning of underwater structures, adds Gautier Dreyfus. Ifremer is a national forerunner involved in many great global scientific undertakings. This partnership will allow us to benefit from the institution’s expertise in submarine systems and gain international credibility.”

« The participation of Ifremer further strengthens our collaboration with the Forssea team and the institute’s InOcéan innovation approach, says Romain Charraudeau, Director of Innovation at Ifremer. Our research forces will help this young start-up accelerate its development. We also plan to transfer some of the technologies developed by Ifremer and co-develop new ones to meet our research needs. This virtuous circle fully meets our objective of promoting the socio-economic development of the maritime world  ».

Collaboration between Forssea and Ifremer technology units:

Long-term work on the ROV concept resides in intelligent onboard vision and 3D modeling from images… And in the shorter term, the deployment of Forssea systems on underwater observatories:
«To date, collecting data from our seabed observatories can only be carried out by sophisticated machines such as the ROV Victor 6000, the Nautile submarine or the HROV Ariane. Ifremer will study with Forssea a new scenario to simplify this type of operation, to carry them out more frequently, explains Jean-Marc Daniel, head of the Physical Resources and Seabed Ecosystems department at Ifremer. With the Atoll robot, we could automatically establish a wired link between the station on the bottom and the ship and thus recover data, recharge the batteries of the observatory, make diagnostics or reprogram certain functions. The robot could also act as an elevator and retrieve objects from the bottom such as Ocean Bottom Seismometers (OBS) recovering them on board, thus saving us from having to leave the anchor weights on the bottom».

Published on October 23, 2020 Updated on November 10, 2020