Roboat aims to revolutionize urban mobility as spin-off company
🎯 After six years of research by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS Institute), Roboat has officially launched independently. The project, which focused on developing autonomous navigation technology for boats for urban and inland waterways, has now transitioned into a spin-off company that will scale up the technology to waterways worldwide. With the launch of the Roboat spin-off company, we will soon see new and old boats becoming “smart” with the help of Roboat’s autonomous navigation technology.
The research was carried out by MIT scientists together with Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS Institute) since 2015. Roboat generated a wealth of scientific knowledge on autonomous navigation, perception- and control systems. Roboat went beyond academic findings as it represents a significant opportunity for urban mobility and transportation challenges in 21st-century cities, which led to collaborations with industry partners and interest from other cities as well.
In 2021, Roboat technology reached the full-scale prototype stage. The team built one water taxi and one waste collection boat, which have been used to demonstrate full autonomy on the water. During all those years, Roboat’s vision to change cities for the better hasn’t changed. An entrepreneurial team of four engineers and software developers, led by the former project leader at AMS Institute, will start the company and is committed to fulfilling the potential for autonomous boats to tackle urban transportation challenges in Amsterdam and abroad. The first commercial projects and products will launch soon.
🎤Stephan van Dijk, Director of Innovation AMS Institute, said: “Roboat technology is designed to navigate dynamic and complex urban and inland waterways, such as the Amsterdam canals, which makes Roboat technology relevant for cities and harbor areas worldwide. Combined with its ability to perform its tasks 24/7, Roboat technology can add great value to safer and more sustainable transport on the water in the city”.
🎤 Ynse Deinema, project leader at AMS Institute and CEO of the Roboat company, said: “Our innovative approach has the potential to make a significant impact in the field of autonomous shipping and waterborne transport and we are happy to begin this new chapter as a start-up. We want to thank MIT and AMS Institute for taking the initiative and providing fertile ground for Roboat.”.
🎤 Ger Baron, Director Digital and Innovation, City of Amsterdam, commented: “Roboat is not about making ships autonomous, but it is about reinventing mobility on the water. The applications are potentially limitless. From waste collection to supporting quay restorations, but in the end it makes mobility on the water safer, flexible and efficient.”
🎤 Carlo Ratti, Professor at MIT Senseable City Lab & AMS PI, added: “After 6 years of academic research, we are thrilled to see Roboat sailing on its own as a new company – and contributing to change and expand the way we think about urban mobility.”
📃📷 Source: AMS Institute