(WINDSOR, ON) – Envirodrone, a firm headquartered in Windsor with operations in Detroit, is among 21 companies representing 13 countries to advance in the $7M Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE. This three-year global competition challenges teams to advance ocean technologies for rapid, unmanned, and high-resolution ocean exploration and discovery.
From a 25-country field, a panel of independent, expert judges chose the semi-finalist teams for the first round of testing. Launched in 2015, the Ocean Discovery XPRIZE features groups, including university undergraduate and graduate students, non-profits, start-ups, and professional scientists and engineers.
Envirodrone plans to use aerial drones to launch next-generation Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.
Ryan Cant, a Sandwich Secondary school graduate, and currently a Fanshawe College professor, is the founder and CEO of the private company. Currently it designs and fabricates UAVs to accurately map crops, mining sites, quarries, forests, construction sites, wildlife habitat, and the similar.
“These semi-finalist teams are on the cutting-edge, pushing the boundaries in developing deep-sea underwater technologies that will work in the lightless, cold depths to fully map one of our world’s final frontiers like never before,” said Jyotika Virmani, prize lead and senior director with XPRIZE’s Energy and Environment Group. “Through the Ocean Discovery XPRIZE, we have an unprecedented opportunity to create next generation tools, technologies, and techniques that will illuminate deep-sea wonders and unlock a new era of ocean exploration. We look forward to seeing the teams’ innovative approaches come to life over the next 10 months.”
During Round 1, teams will deploy their entries to operate at a depth of 2,000 meters, aiming to map at least 20 percent of the 500km2 competition area at five meters resolution, identifying and imaging at least five archeological, biological, or geological features at any depth, all within 16 hours.
In other words, the competition technologies will aim to reach depths deeper than the Grand Canyon and map an area that is nearly five times the area of Paris.
Up to 10 finalist teams will be selected to proceed past the first round and will split a $1M milestone prize purse. In the second round, they will need to operate their entries at a depth of 4,000 meters, aim to map at least 50 percent of the 500km2 competition area at five meters resolution, identifying and imaging at least ten archeological, biological, or geological features at any depth, all within 24 hours.
At the end of the competition, a $4M Grand Prize and $1M Second Place Prize will be awarded to the teams receiving top scores for demonstrating the highest resolution seafloor mapping.