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Assisted by the world's best underwater drone, Hurtigruten (i.e., Norway’s Coastal Express) hopes it can soon offer passengers live, true-colour streaming of images of whales, king crabs, and shipwrecks.
Published: 6 September 2017
Imagine that you are standing on the deck while at the same time being able to take part in everything that is happening below the surface of the ocean.
The possibility of doing this is probably not that far off.
Hurtigruten is collaborating with the Norwegian entrepreneurial enterprise, Blueye Robotics, which has set itself the challenging goal of making the world's best underwater drones.
The drones are scheduled to be used on Hurtigruten's expedition ships, and the technology has already been tested on board MS Fram.
"We can stream live images of undersea life and everything that is happening below the surface via the drones to the monitors on board the ships or to digital dive masks worn by guests," says Christine Spiten, entrepreneur and Marketing Manager at Blueye.
The drones will initially be used on Hurtigruten’s expedition ships, and Hurtigruten will then use that experience to develop the project further and consider implementing them on their regular routes along the Norwegian coast.
"We tested the drone along the Norwegian coast this spring, and it was astonishing. We got very positive feedback from those on board," says Communications Manager at Hurtigruten, Rune Thomas Ege, and adds:
"A ship might suddenly be surrounded by a pod of whales, and there are fish, king crabs, and shipwrecks. A whole new world opens up to us just a few metres below the ocean surface, and the amazing thing is that everyone on the ship can take part in the experience."
Naturally, Hurtigruten does not only want to show us the rosy side of things. The underwater drone will also document the consequences of marine littering.
"If the passengers guests can return home with many wonderful impressions of the fantastic areas they visit and new insight into the human impact on the oceans and what we can do to take care of them, we have given both the guests and the Planet that little extra," says Ege.
In addition to giving the passengers an opportunity to take a digital dive underwater, the innovative technology will also be a useful tool for researching a given area.
"Only ten percent of the world's oceans have been explored. With underwater drones on our ships, we can take guests below the surface in areas that are less explored than the surface of Mars. And, of course, we will share the data and images with scientists," says Hurtigruten CEO, Daniel Skjeldam.
Hurtigruten enjoys working with an innovative, Norwegian entrepreneurial business such as Blueye Robotics.
"Hurtigruten is building the world's safest, greenest and most advanced expedition ships, and these vessels will serve as showcases for Norwegian marine technology".
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