The development of the autonomous inspection robot is initiated in 2015. We are planning to deliver our first robots in 2025.

Research program 'Smart Water Grids'

The idea to use an autonomous inspection robot to monitor water grids is initiated by WETSUS and KWR in 2015. Further on the idea is picked up within The Dutch drinking water research program (BTO). The results are reported in several publications:

Start development

In 2017, the 7 Dutch water supply companies Brabant Water, Dunea, Evides, PWN, Vitens, WMD, WML started project AIR. KWR supported the development. Demcon was the main technology supplier, together with Geodan, Acquaint and DoBots as sub suppliers.

Feasibility model

In 2019 the feasibility model was completed. The model was tested for the most important functionalities, such as propulsion, energy transfer, inspection and data transfer. The project was partly funded by subsidies from the Dutch government.

Minimum viable product

The minimum viable product was made to test and integrate the most important features of the robot, such as the autonomous navigation and wireless charging. The MVP is tested in 2020 under laboratory conditions.

Upcoming alpha and beta model

Vitens, Brabant Water and Evides are planning to perform field tests in 2023. The robot still needs some incremental development steps. The first model is a simplified version with optimised autonomous navigation.

Go-to-market partner for international expansion

SubMerge has great international business potential. However, Vitens, Brabant Water and Evides are not planning to commercialise the robot. SubMerge is therefore searching for an international go-to-market partner for future investments and upscaling.

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