A startup based in Chennai, India has raised substantial Series A funding for underwater, robotic inspection units aimed at observing and diagnosing issues in submarines. Planys Technologies is a manufacturer of Remote Operated Vehicles, or ROVs, which can operate at shallow depths, and its combination of non-destructive systems and cutting-edge surveying technology have garnered significant financial backing.
Planys rolled out its first marine robot, Mike, in October 2016. Mike, and the subsequent iterations of Planys-manufactured ROVs, operate by utilizing several sensors and environment-observing tools to capture as much data about the entity being studied as possible. Mike can detect potential issues including corrosion and thickness of the submarine’s body, issues that could prove catastrophic if left undetected. Since its inception, Mike has undergone over 700 hours of testing, as its operators have continually released improved versions of the original ROV.
But it’s the second marine ROV introduced by Planys, Beluga, which has fueled greater excitement and motivation to invest among those who have contributed to the company’s $1.04 million total Series A funding to date. Beluga, which was introduced in November 2016, contains more than double the thrust capacity of its predecessor. It also has the ability to dive deeper, reaching a maximum depth of 200 meters, or approximately 656 feet, while providing a top speed of four knots.
With better vision technology than Mike, the same ability to detect corrosion and thickness measurements, and the added capacity to ‘spot bio-fouling cleaning, cathodic potential measurements and various acoustic surveys, such as side-scan survey for seabed mapping, [and] bathymetry and environmental surveys,’ Beluga is an affirmation of Planys’s intent to put the competition in its rear view mirror.
“Planys seeks to disrupt the way underwater inspections are performed in India and the neighborhood,” said Tanuj Jhunjhunwala, co-founder and CEO of Planys. “ROV Beluga is a strong example of our intent, powerful and with features unmatched for its segment, yet compact and portable.”
The company has set a $2.16 million benchmark for its Series A funding total, and it is nearly halfway there, thanks in large part to leading investor Kris Gopalakrishnan. With the global robotics market valued at $4.94 billion, it seems more likely than not that Planys achieves its Series A goal and continues its ascent.