Cellula Awarded IRAP Grant Funding for AUV Development

Cellula Robotics Ltd. (Cellula) has been awarded a second round of grant funding from the National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP).

The funding will support Cellula’s ongoing AUV development program and includes open water docking and a further refinement of Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) algorithms for operation in confined spaces. 

Cellula Awarded Contract under All Domain Situational Awareness Science & Technology Program

Cellula Robotics Ltd. (Cellula) is pleased to announce the award of a contract by Public Services and Procurement Canada, on behalf of the Department of National Defence’s (DND) science and technology organization, Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC), under the All Domain Situational Awareness (ADSA) Science & Technology (S&T) Program. Under this contract, Cellula will develop and perform a laboratory demonstration of an innovative fuel cell, specifically designed for use on a long range autonomous underwater vehicle. The demonstration will include operating in a simulated deep water environment, supplying several hundred kilowatt hours of energy.

The fuel cell system will incorporate a novel Hydrogen Peroxide Oxygen delivery system developed for this project by Protonex Technology Corporation, a subsidiary of Ballard Power Systems. By using Hydrogen Peroxide as the reactant, both the energy density and specific energy of the fuel cell system are greatly improved for subsea applications compared to conventional systems.

This is the first of a possible three-phase program. It has the potential to dramatically reduce the cost of ocean exploration, observation, and mapping by allowing users to run month-long underwater autonomous missions, eliminating the necessity and cost of surface launch/retrieval vessels or manned submarines.

Eric Jackson, President of Cellula, explains “This S&T program will speed our development of power systems poised to revolutionize autonomous underwater operations. The combination of Cellula Robotics’ subsea experience with Protonex’s long background in unmanned system power enables a completely new approach for these types of missions.”

This initial phase of the program is expected to continue for the first half of 2018. Funding for the next phases is conditional on DRDC approval of this proof of concept.

Read the DRDC press release here: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/news/2018/04/government-of-canada-announces-contract-award-to-cellula-robotics-ltd-for-research-and-development-in-support-of-sub-surface-surveillance-in-arctic.html

Protonex Technology Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ: BLDP; TSX: BLDP) is a leading provider of advanced power solutions for portable, remote and mobile applications, applying industry leading expertise in fuel cell, solar, and intelligent power management technologies. The company produces the PTX line of special operator focused portable power managers and battery chargers, and also provides fuel cell based solutions for unmanned systems, remote sensing and communications, as well as other defence and commercial applications. For more information, please visit Protonex’s website: www.protonex.com

Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) is the national leader in defence and security science and technology. As part of Canada’s Department of National Defence’s science and technology organization, DRDC provides DND, the Canadian Armed Forces and other government departments as well as the public safety and national security communities, the knowledge and technological advantage needed to defend and protect Canada’s interests at home and abroad. For more information, please visit DRDC’s website: www.drdc-rddc.gc.ca

All Domain Situational Awareness S&T Program (ADSA)

Through an investment of up to $133 million over five years, through to 2020, in the All Domain Situational Awareness (ADSA) Science & Technology program, DND is supporting a variety of innovative research and analysis projects, the outcomes of which are expected to contribute to the development of options for enhanced domain awareness of air, maritime surface and sub-surface approaches to Canada, in particular those in the Arctic. This research and analysis will be delivered through collaboration with other government departments (OGDs), academia, industry and allies. Surveillance solutions explored and potentially selected will strengthen the Government of Canada’s ability to exercise sovereignty in the North, and will provide a greater whole-of-government awareness of safety and security issues, as well as transportation and commercial activity in Canada’s Arctic.

Successful Docking Demo for Imotus-1 HAUV

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Cellula Robotics Ltd. (Cellula) has successfully demonstrated its Imotus-1 Hovering Autonomous Underwater Vehicle. During a week of testing at local pool facility, Imotus-1 navigated using proprietary SLAM algorithms and was shown to hold station, waypoint track, maneuver around obstacles and dock to an underwater charging station. Inspection tools including point cloud map generation, high definition video, an ultrasonic thickness gauge and a light cleaning brush were also demonstrated.

The docking demonstration was sponsored by Ocean Networks Canada. This demonstration included communications between Imotus and the docking station using a blue-light modem, followed by autonomous docking.  When in the dock, Imotus received power and high bandwidth communication via a WiSub pin-less connector.

Scott McLean, Director of Ocean Networks Canada, said “this was an excellent demonstration of Canadian technology that has broad applications globally for both industry and research.  Cellula Robotics has really created an exceptional platform that we are looking forward to applying in many areas.  Demonstrating both wireless optical communications and contactless connectors for charging and high speed communications is an essential step to creating the next generation in hybrid AUV systems.”

Imotus-1 uses Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) algorithms to enable navigation, station keeping, route following and autonomous operation within confined space environments. Development of SLAM was made possible through funding from the National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP).

In the first quarter of 2018 Imotus-1 will be used in the North Sea for commercial survey and inspection work inside the structural legs of an offshore platform.

Ocean Networks Canada was established in 2007 as a major initiative of the University of Victoria, Ocean Networks Canada operates world-leading ocean observatories for the advancement of science and the benefit of Canada. The observatories collect data on physical, chemical, biological, and geological aspects of the ocean over long time periods, supporting research on complex Earth processes in ways not previously possible. For more information, please visit their website: http://www.oceannetworks.ca/

NRC Industrial Research Assistance Program is Canada's premier innovation assistance program for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It is a vital component of the NRC, a cornerstone in Canada's innovation system, regarded world-wide as one of the best programs of its kind. For more information, please visit their website: https://www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/eng/irap/index.html

Successful CRD100 Coring Program

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Cellula Robotics Ltd. is please to that announce that Subsea Geo Services Inc. (SGSI) and Fukada Salvage and Marine Works (Fukada) completed another successful coring program with a Cellula CRD100 seafloor drill, known as Unicorn-1.  The coring program was in 1,400m of seawater with wave heights of up to four meters off the coast of Japan. The program focused on recovering Seafloor Massive Sulphides (SMS) samples to help better understand the geology of the region.

Cores were taken at five locations with sample depths ranging from 9m to 63m. The geology of the region is highly varied ranging from silts and clay to soft volcanic ash, quartz and rock. This variation has historically resulted in poor core recovery on previous drilling programs. However, the Unicorn-1 system provided excellent cores particularly in the SMS segment, averaging over 80% recovery.

Fukada Salvage and Marine Works Co., Ltd. (FSM), headquartered in Osaka, Japan is involved in marine salvage, steel structure installation, offshore engineering, and other infrastructural improvement projects. FSM is currently introducing deep-sea research equipment and other cutting-edge assets to a fleet of six offshore support vessels to aggressively tackle ocean development projects. For more information, please visit the FSM website: http://www.fukasal.co.jp/en/

Subsea Geo Services Inc. (SGSI) is a leading geotechnical system operator focusing on CPTu and drilling and coring operations with the CRD100/Unicorn-1 seafloor in co-operation with FSM. The Unicorn-1 system is a highly capable seafloor drilling platform suitable for operation to 3,000m of seawater and the ability to operate safely in highly variable weather conditions due to its purpose-built A-frame and heave compensated winch. For more information, please visit SGSI’s website at: www.subseageoservices.com

Cellula Upgrades to ISO 9001:2015 Certification

Cellula’s Quality Management System is now certified to ISO 9001:2015. This is an upgrade from Cellula’s QMS previous certification to the ISO 9001:2008 standard.

Cellula successfully attained accreditation during the first Upgrade Transition Audit in early October. At the same time, Cellula maintained and passed the 24 Month Surveillance Audit for our 9001:2008 certification.

Cellula will continue to uphold the standards of ISO 9001:2015 in our daily business.

The QMS accepts the challenges of working in the prototype market, but strives to ensure the quality of each product delivered to our customers. From our employees to our clients, the QMS acknowledges the importance of maintaining the quality of our product to ensure all parties have their needs and expectations met.

By adhering to these principles, we endeavor to always bring the best value to our customers while delivering tools and infrastructure for the future.

New Website & Hovering AUV Release

Cellula Robotics Ltd. is proud to launch a new website and introduce their first Hovering Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (HAUV): Imotus-1

Imotus-1 is a Hovering AUV specifically designed to operate in confined environments, in a range of fluids.  The navigation solution incorporates Cellula’s proprietary Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping (SLAM) algorithms, using data from a suite of sensors to calculate its location inside a confined, unknown environment.  Imotus-1 carries a range of inspection sensors including a high resolution stills camera, ultrasonic thickness sensors and a light intervention cleaning tool.  Imotus-1 is available for purchase or lease.

Eric Jackson, President of Cellula Robotics Ltd. said: “We are excited to be entering the HAUV market with a vehicle designed to solve specific inspection challenges in confined spaces.  Over the past 18 months, Cellula has taken the strategic decision to develop this technology, building on our strong control systems experience.  With the global AUV market expected to grow significantly in the coming years and a drive to reduce costs in the Oil and Gas sector, we believe the Imotus family of vehicles will provide a new and cost effective solution to many inspection challenges.”

Cellula Awarded Imotus-1 Contract

Cellula Robotics Ltd. has been awarded a contract by Ocean Networks Canada to demonstrate subsea blue light communication, docking and charging of Cellula’s Hovering Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (HAUV): Imotus-1.  The demonstration will occur by the end of 2017 in a confined space test tank.

Established in 2007 as a major initiative of the University of Victoria, Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) operates world-leading ocean observatories for the advancement of science and the benefit of Canada. The observatories collect data on physical, chemical, biological, and geological aspects of the ocean over long time periods, supporting research on complex Earth processes in ways not previously possible. For more information, please visit the ONC website.

MP Terry Beech Visits Cellula to Announce BCIP Contract

Cellula Robotics Ltd. hosted Terry Beech, MP for Burnaby North-Seymour and Parliamentary Secretary for Fisheries, Oceans and Canadian Coast Guard, as he announced the awarding of a Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP) contract to Cellula. The $612,202 contract is for two Cetor3000 Environmental Samplers which will be tested at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography prior to being used in the field.

See the press release from Public Services and Procurement Canada here.