The story of how we started

Some years ago, deep inside an arctic fjord, a small team of workers struggled thru a winter storm; their mission was to keep the production of fresh salmon safe and clean out in the fjord.

They worked with heavy machinery, high-pressure systems, hydraulics, and massive generators and ROVs. Everything to have clean and safe nets, ensuring good conditions for the salmon.

12 x 5000square meters of nets were cleaned and inspected under that storm.

2016 - The problem
Founder of Probotic, Mikkel Pedersen, is doing his third net-cleaning operation of the day and realizes that staring at a screen for hours and hours each day just seeing into a net, feels meaningless.
A machine could do the same!
2017 - The Ideas
After a long, dark, and cold winter at sea, Mikkel has had time to start to draft many sketches, and as new designs were drawn, a vision began to emerge.
Sketch of Probotic's autonomous net pen inspection and cleaning robot.

One of many concept sketches of how a robot could be designed.

2017 - Hard Work
Getting more and more obsessed with the idea, Mikkel quits his old job and starts his own business. He gets assignments from the local fish farmers, and earns his first money to spend on the idea.
A pick-up truck with a boat on a trailer.

A lot of equipment and a boat were invested in starting the business.

Ballangen sjøfarm logo.

"The awesome fish farmer Ballangen Sjofarm gained belief in me in the start; they shared my vision to automate the net cleaning and inspection, and gave me enough work to overcome the first hard years. Without them, this would be another story"

Mikkel, founder.

2017 - First customer
After a year of hard work, Mikkel now had a business and also finally time to work on the brilliant idea! Autonomous inspection and cleaning of the fish pen nets! 🎉
Mikkel Pedersen

“At this stage, we started testing the first concept prototypes. We collaborated with specialists from Sintef Ocean and built different prototypes. It was exciting times, and our testing established proof that the concept of constant cleaning worked and prevented the biofilm of marine fouling from growing on the nets.”

Mikkel, Founder of Probotic

3D render of Probotic's autonomous net pen inspection and cleaning robot.
The Solution was simple as a concept, build a robot that keeps the nets clean, and inspects them all the time. This way, no salmon can escape, and with always clean nets, you always have the best conditions for the fish.🎉

2018 - Concept Tests
Magnets and testing!
Prototype of Probotic's autonomous net pen inspection and cleaning robot.

Our first testing was basic concept tests. After some weeks we realized that constant gentle cleaning, kept the nets clean, - this was awesome! This actually could work! A great milestone and a motivation burst.

2019 - Masterplan
The masterplan!
Now the name "Probotic" is born. With lessons learned from previous trials, we could see the solution in sight. With a grant of 130 000 EUR from Innovation Norway, a new patent filed, we sat out with new hopes.

ROV technology. The problem, but also the solution.
Our main principle was combining well known and approved technology in a new way. However, one of the main issues of using thrusters for propulsion is the entangling of seaweed and long-term reliability. So, trying to overcome this, we ordered all types of thruster propulsion we could find in the market and started rigid testing.

Probotic

verb

[ri-loom]
To relight or rekindle (a light, flame, etc.)

An autonomous underwater drone.
Funding - 2020
300 000 EUR in funding. CoFounder invests in Probotic and joins the board. We file another patent of underwater navigation.

Design and prototype is evolving simultaneously as serious investors capitalize their believes in the idea. The Probotic team expands with both technical engineer and software developer. Tests show that we are closing in on a robust concept.

More funding - 2021
🚀 A2-Inspect launches
260 000 EUR in grant from
Norwegian Seafood Research Fund (FHF)
to the development of our
Autonomous Net Inspection concept the A2-Inspect.

*Tekst*
Norwegian Seafood Research Fund (FHF) logo.
Visual of the autonomous inspection of a net pen.
Tore Landsem

“QUOTE custumer.”

Lars R. Lovund - Chief Adviser FHF

Even more funding - 2021
🚀 A2-Inspect launches
600 000 EUR granted from The Research Council Norway for our development of the Autonomous Net cleaner A2-Clean.

The way cleaning of fish nets is done today is a challenge for the fish farming industry on several levels. The fact is that it's bat for both the environment and the fish health, as well as being highly costly and resource demanding. The systems used are still partly manually operated, using water pressure to remove the biofilm from the nets. When this method is used, the biofilm is flushed directly into the net and causes a harmfull environment for the fish.
Probotic is developing an autonomous drone for cleaning fish farm nets in a more natural and gentle manner. The drone control and report the net
conditions autonomously, and it hinders the creation of biofilm on the fish-nets by continuously cleaning. The drones are only paused by battery-charging or sent home by the operator if inspection or work is needed in other places in the
farms or other crucial operations like delizing or net-changing. Resulting in cleaner food production and directly
reducing climate emissions. And at the same time, it ensures better animal welfare and reduces operational costs.

Seaweed at the bottom of a net pen. A school of fish in the background.
The Research Council of Norway logo.
Tore Landsem

“QUOTE custumer.”

BOSS BOSSERE

Results - 2021
Industrializing our concept

Our prototypes are soon a product built for a lifetime with autonomous work in the ocean. The system will be rented out as a service; this ensures our sustainable goals and gives us control over the life-cycle of all bits and pieces in production. Also, this means we are responsible for the product to function as expected and let the customers focus on their values.

Mikkel Pedersen

“The time is now. Climate changes are not waiting for us. To secure a sustainable and healthy food production is essential and I can not think of a better purpose to use my time and effort upon."

Mikkel, Founder of Probotic

Now
Today Probotic is an entire team on the same mission in life - To wake up every day with a choice to do what we love to do, build meaningful technology and do great work.