Abu Dhabi – MENA Herald: The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, and UAE-based SaferTrident today jointly announced the successful testing of a made-in-the-UAE semi-autonomous vehicle (SAV) for divers.

SaferTrident’s novel local technology was tested at Masdar Institute as part of a Partnering to Achieve Innovation in Defense and Aerospace (PAIDA) Working Group, organized by Masdar Institute and the Defense Services Marketing Council (DSMC), which is a UAE-based marketing incubator organization that specializes in accelerating the growth of companies within the international defense, space and security industries.

Dr. Steve Griffiths, Vice President for Research, Masdar Institute, said: “The SaferTrident demonstration of such a unique and promising technology made here in the UAE shows Masdar Institute’s continual evolution as the hub of innovation for smart systems. We are proud to work with SaferTrident through PAIDA and the DSMC to continue to bring R&D and new innovation to the UAE defense sector.”

The SaferTrident system is a multi-purpose hybrid diver propulsion vehicle (DPV) and autonomous underwater vehicle that can be used to assist divers to do underwater mapping and localization, which is of particular use for the defense and oil and gas sectors. The system has been designed so that both the hardware and software is modular and can be adapted and customized for various uses. SaferTrident uses a unique computer-vision technology assisted by sensors and GPS to allow the system to operate without acoustic doppler for positioning and Light Detection And Ranging (LiDAR) and sonar for mapping. This allows for the vehicle to be completely stealthy while still providing highly accurate readings.

Gerard Kruisheer, CEO and Founder, SaferTrident, who performed the demonstration, explained: “We are passionate about making SaferTrident a success as a system both prototyped and manufactured in the UAE. The hardware and the software we have developed is cutting edge and has never been done before in this way; so there will be many lessons learned along our road to get to the market. However, the global demand is huge from groups, including oil and gas companies monitoring pipelines to environment underwater preserves keeping the ecosystem we see around the world pure. From the support we are getting from INNOVATOR Space TechShop Abu Dhabi to Masdar Institute access to world class facilities and research students, the unmanned underwater future looks promising in the UAE.”

Facilitating R&D and innovation is a key mandate of Masdar Institute, which aims to serve a critical role in the UAE’s innovative knowledge economy transformation. To that end the Institute works to bring together industry, government, and academia to facilitate collaboration and application of R&D in new ways. It hosts the PAIDA Working Group series of events to help catalyze R&D and innovation in the defense sector.