Collaboration on innovative solution for fish farms

Collaboration on innovative solution for fish farms

​​Aqua Robotics has developed a business concept to offer the aquaculture industry services that keep the cages clean at all times by means of robots. Digitread Connect ensures that data from the robots is uploaded to the cloud and presented in applications at Aqua Robotics premises as well as remotely at any of their customers’ sites.

The algae, seaweed and other waste in the salmon cages which house farmed salmon can grow at a  rapid rate. This can cause extensive problems. It leaves the salmon with less oxygen to breathe and the cleaner fish whose job it is to eat lice from the salmon stop doing their job and start eating on the green matter instead of eating the lice when there is too much growth. The most common way to solve the challenges with vegetation has often been to use service boats that high-pressure wash the cages as often as every fifh or seventh day in the summer season when there is an abundance of daylight and the water is at its warmest as the green matter can grow several millimeters a day at this time of year.

”Some of the green matter consists of nettles and it contains similar substances found in jellyfish. When the nets are flushed, the nettles are crushed into tiny pieces and the cloud that is created enters the gills of the fish. This, in turn, damages their health and, in addition, the fish get stressed by the noise from the rinsing process”, reports Knut Molaug who is the general manager of Aqua Robotics.

Continuous rolling brush
The principle behind the washing robot that Aqua Robotics has invented is that it attachs to the notch ring on top of the cage and continuously brushes the entire inside of the net, from top to bottom. That way, the sprouts never get a chance to start growing. The company’s business concept is to offer cleaning as a service and guarantee the breeders clean cages. In so doing, Aqua Robotics’ service department needs a full overview of all robots that are in operation at all times. Regardless of whether the fish farm is in Western Norway, or located in a northern Norwegian fjord, the company must be able to follow every single washing robot from the head office in Bryne. The remote monitoring solution needed is developed by Digitread.

Quick delivery
”We started the collaboration with a one-day workshop at Aqua Robotics. The aim was for Digitread to gain an understanding of the concept and the product and, in turn, for Aqua Robotics to ascertain what it is possible to achieve with the IoT. We then spent two weeks developing a working solution that could be used by both Aqua Robotics and their customers, ” states Christoffer Lange from Digitread Connect.

During these two weeks, Digitread Connect ensured that positioning data, depth and battery capacity data from the robots were uploaded to the cloud. They created three different applications where the data was displayed. In the application created for the Aqua Robotics service department, they can now check the status of each individual robot and remotely control the robot back to the starting position. An application has also been developed which enables the company using the product to track and view the robots to ensure they are working properly.

Remote control robots
The latest application is a mobile application intended for the operators out on the farm itself. With this app, they can start, stop and park the robot directly from their mobile.
”This places great demands on safety and we have been dependent on a close and good collaboration with Aqua Robotics’ own developers. It is inspiring and educational to work with a company that has both an innovative solution in the aquaculture industry and in addition sees the potential of the IoT”, declares Christoffer Lange.

”We now have a complete overview of all the robots that are in operation at all times. We can easily see everything that is happening and if there are any issues. In this case, we can quickly and easily address problems immediately remotely even if we are far away”, Molaug ends.

Published: 30.11.2020