The story of how we got started

A long time ago, deep inside an arctic fjord, a man spent all his hours at work by manually operating robots for inspecting and cleaning fish-pen nets. For hours and hours, he looked on the LCD screen while controlling and cleaning the nets. Only a second with low concentration could mean a missed hole, a bad cleaned corner, or entanglement of the tether. During one of these hours, something happened. An idea emerged - this way of operating had to change!
So, this was the beginning of how Probotic started out, some years back.
Dive in...

October 2016
Founder, Mikkel Pedersen, is doing his fourth net-cleaning operation of the day, and realizes that there must be a better way to do this sort of repetitive, manual operation. His entrepreneurial gene calls  at him and the idea to automate these operations and develop autonomous underwater drones starts to evolve.
April 2017
After a long, dark, and cold winter at sea, Mikkel has drafted many sketches, and it's clear to him that he now is on a mission.
Sketch of Probotic's autonomous net pen inspection and cleaning robot.

Mikkel first reaches out to the service company he works for, asking if they can contribute to bringing the idea to life. Sadly, this was impossible, so Mikkel took a choice and left his resignation notice to pursue the mission himself.

August 2017
So with no daily job to go to, the reality kicked in for Mikkel. He needed income and a way to finance his brilliant idea. Therefore, he issued a risky bank loan, spent all of his 2 pennies of savings, bought a boat, a cheap ROV, and started the company Nor Maritime Service (NMS).
A pick-up truck with a boat on a trailer.

Thereafter, he began doing underwater inspection work again, manually with an ROV, just like he wanted to quit doing. However, this time, it had an actual purpose; these operations would finance the start of the technology development.

Mikkel Pedersen

"Ballangen Sjofarm gained belief in me at this time, so they gave me enough inspection work to overcome the first hard years."

Mikkel, founder.

Desember 2017
So after a year of struggle, we finally had time to work on the brilliant idea! Constant autonomous inspection and cleaning of the nets was our vision! We sent our first patent application and started testing the first concept prototype 🎉
3D render of Probotic's autonomous net pen inspection and cleaning robot.
3D render of Probotic's autonomous net pen inspection and cleaning robot.
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

June 2018
Our first downers and reboot!

"Testing our first concept, we realized that using magnets and a two-part robot was not the best way to do it after all - it turned out to be way too technically complex. But mainly, the constant net movements in severe weather made it challenging. Thus, the final dealbreaker was that we couldn't obtain a 100% control of the outer part (outside the pen-net). This meant the first drafted solution wasn't trustable. We had to rethink everything, and did a real reboot; which concept would actually be adequately robust for this application?"

Prototype of Probotic's autonomous net pen inspection and cleaning robot.
July 2019
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.
April 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.

March 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

June 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

October 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.