Meet Kraken Robotics: The marine tech firm defending our oceans

The firm hopes its tech will allow clients to explore, power and protect the planet.
Loukia Papadopoulos
An illustration of Kraken's technology.jpg
An illustration of Kraken's technology.

RBC Royal Bank 

This company may be named after a mythical monster but its goals are nothing but good. Kraken robotics is the world-leading innovator in Synthetic Aperture Sonar (SAS) — a revolutionary underwater imaging technology that provides ultra-high-resolution imagery.

The firm hopes its tech will allow clients to explore, power and protect the planet at rates that are cost-efficient. It launched in 2012 and its introduction revolutionized the industry.

“Up until then, SAS was extremely costly, making it almost impossible for industry operators to own. With this in mind, Kraken set out to make a commercially viable SAS that offered the highest resolution sonar commercially available at the lowest cost per pixel,” explained Greg Reid, Kraken’s President and CEO, in a blog published by RBC Royal Bank. 

“Our technology is very efficient, and the images are very high-resolution — so we can complete work for our clients in a far quicker period of time compared to previous sonar solutions. For defense customers that means underwater mines can be detected quicker, and for commercial customers it means the job is done faster, resulting in less expensive offshore boat time.”

Rapid expansion

The company has grown significantly in the last decade going from an eight-person team to a 250-person organization with employees based in North America, South America, and Europe, and ambitious plans to expand further across the globe.

“Kraken has been a global company from the beginning, with international customers and contracts,” says Reid. 

“Global demand has been driven by an increased focus on maritime defense and subsea infrastructure security and an upgrade cycle in the industry as customers move to SAS from older side scan sonar products. Better put, customers are moving from black and white TV technology to high-definition tech products. In addition, the strong growth in offshore energy and especially offshore wind, is driving demand for our sub-seabed imaging technologies as offshore wind developers need to know what is on and under the seabed before they spend large sums constructing wind turbines and subsea cable routes.”

Just last year in December, Kraken won a contract with the Canadian Navy to supply remote mine disposal systems. The company is also active in the offshore wind market providing services that survey acreage under the sea to ensure wind farms can be installed without running into existing unexploded ordinances (UXOs), large boulders or other impenetrable items that may be hidden from view.

The company adapts its services according to the market it’s in. In Brazil, for instance, they developed a software that enables underwater inspection and the surveying of the ocean. In Germany, they offer pressure-tolerant battery technology for subsea equipment, noted the blog.