The “Mini Explorer” is an autonomous robotic surface vehicle which was created in a cooperative effort between Archipelagos Institute and the Greek company “Aigaio RCB” and was obtained via self-funding by Archipelagos. At a time when boats are not permitted to travel at sea, it is a great tool for monitoring multiple parameters of marine ecosystems.

With 6 hours of autonomous battery life and the ability to carry a relatively large load, the “Mini Explorer” allows a large number of sensors, like a sonar, hydrophone, cameras, etc., to be installed. Using telemetry or autonomous handling, it can complete data collection in difficult areas and in sites where conventional vessels cannot. It is also equipped with sonar to avoid obstacles, automatically preventing the collision with rocks, buoys, etc., as well as with bow and stern cameras that transmit real-time image and sound to the base station.

The “Mini Explorer” incorporates many technologies and is one more testament to the high level of innovation, skills and the know-how that is available here in Greece. Technology from local companies is an advantage, not only because of the lower cost compared to purchasing equipment from international companies, but also the fact that any repair and development processes can be done quickly, without having to endure the months of delay that come from sending equivalent tools abroad for repair or upgrade.

It is time for us here in Greece to acknowledge our true potential in the international high-tech market and to no more play only the role of spectator and consumer.