Remora Robotics

Remora Robotics was established as Mithal AS in 2015, and changed its name to Remora Robotics in the autumn of 2021. The company is headquartered and operations centre at Kalhammeren in Stavanger, where large-scale production facilities are also established.

Since its inception, Remora Robotics has been working to perfect the design, technology, characteristics, performance and functionality of the patented autonomous submarine robot Remora, which is revolutionizing the cleaning of cages in fish farms.

The founders were Bjarte Langeland, who has worked with subsea technology in the company Stinger Technology for a number of years, and Leiv Midthassel, who is a trained economist and has spent much of his professional life as an advisor to the oil industry. Langeland later withdrew from the company, but is active as an advisor to Remora Robotics.

The reason for the establishment was the fall in oil prices and a decline in the oil industry, which led to a contract drought. Langeland and Midthassel cast their eyes on the aquaculture industry, and during an inspection assignment at a fish farm, when Midthassel witnessed the costly, energy- and labor-intensive traditional high-pressure washing of the fish cages, the idea was conceived.

The idea was simple: Anything that can be automated should be automated. Everything that will take place under water should be done with equipment that is as self-propelled and autonomous as possible. If the task is tedious and repetitive, then the routines should be simplified and automated.

Midhassel asked the farmers directly what they wanted from the optimal tool for cleaning the fish farming cages. Remora is thus designed and developed as a direct response to the wishes and needs of the farmers.

Much of the robotic and underwater technology was already available through Stinger Technology. The big challenge was to get the robot to move along the net masks without losing its grip. For this purpose, the patented hook and belt system was developed, after trial and error, and with four or five different approaches.

Remora has been established in close and fruitful collaboration with leading research groups in Norway: SINTEF, the Norwegian Research Council, NTNU and Innovation Norway.

Remora was fully tested, approved by Norce and quality assured by Aquastructure in the autumn of 2021. World-leading fish farming companies such as Mowi and Nordlaks also reported their interest.

The goal has been to create a robotic technology that renews and improves the aquaculture industry in a future-oriented, environmentally friendly and sustainable way. We've been able to do that. Now the ambition is national and international growth.

Timeline

2017

The idea is conceived. Utilisation of existing ROV expertise for the development of an autonomous marine version of the robotic lawnmower to clean nets in fish farms.

2018

First trusts prototype tested, and ditched.

First belt-driven device developed.

2019

Functional prototype tested over time.

Norce report concludes that the brush unit works satisfactorily and is well suited for cleaning fish farming cages. Patent obtained on the belt mechanism.

2020

Development of improved prototype, tested with Sterling White Halibut AS.

Three devices were manufactured for further testing.

2021

Autonomous algorithm combined with image recognition tested at Mowi.

Battery operation being developed in collaboration with SINTEF in projects under the Norwegian Research Council.

The first Remora has been installed at Mowi's plant at Hidra in September.