Its been little over a year when we talked about a unique Ernakulam, Kerala-based startup, EyeROV, which was incubated at Kochi's Maker Village, and has built a robotic drone that is capable of performing Visual inspection/survey of underwater/ submerged structures. Well now, the startup has re-branded to IROV Technologies and is going places as it has just launched commercial underwater drones by handing over the first vehicle to Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL), a laboratory of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

Called as 'EyeROV TUNA', the vehicle is India’s First Commercial Inspection Class micro ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) that performs visual inspection and surveys of submerged structures. It is a cost-effective underwater rover that works up to a depth of 100m. It can be easily controlled using a laptop or a joystick. A camera fitted on to the underwater drone(ROV), gives a live video feed of the underwater environment. Our product finds a variety of application, which includes ship hull inspection, fish farm inspection, dam inspection, port structure inspection, bridge foundation inspection etc

Backed by Kerala Start-Up Mission (KSUM), oil and gas firm BPCL and the Department of Science and Technology (DST) of government of India, claims the product is the first indigenously-developed commercial underwater drone in the country.

The startup is also said to be bidding for various defence projects and has received its first order from NPOL, where the drone is expected to help the Laboratory in research operations. The first drone was handed over to the NPOL on Friday evening. The product is also useful in various underwater research operations and is expected to be sold to research institutes in this field, said Johns T Mathai, founder of the company.

IROV is founded by Johns T Mathai, IIT Delhi and Kannappa Palaniappan P, IIT Madras Alumnus. Interestingly, Johns has worked in Grey Orange Robotics, which is touted as India's highest funded robotics startup, for a span of 3+ years besides working for Samsung R&D in Bangalore. Kannappa, on other hand, has Industrial experience working in Saint Gobain and National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), an autonomous society under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India.

"Our vision is to disrupt the underwater critical infrastructure inspections industry," said Mathai, who said that the cost of the drone would depend upon the size and features of the equipment. While there are OEMs and companies like Chennai-based Planys Technologies manufacturing underwater drones, this is for the first time it is made commercially available, he averred. the production is mostly outsourced.

The company recently got recognition from BPCL Project Ankur startup scheme and Kerala Startup Mission Idea Grant Scheme. The company has been founded by Johns T Mathai, an IIT-Delhi alumnus and Kannappa Palaniappan P (IIT-Madras). Johns has worked in Samsung R&D, Bengaluru, and Grey Orange Robotics for over three years.
Kannappa has Industrial experience working in Saint Gobain and National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT).
The company also has mentors and advisors who were earlier with DRDO, the Indian Navy and the marine industry. It is now incubated at Maker Village, Kochi, an initiative of Govt of India and Govt of Kerala.

Via ~ Business Standard

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