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Roboat raises €550K for autonomous boat tech

Roboat's software helps navigate the traffic-heavy inland Dutch waterways and can be integrated into new vehicles or retrofitted into commercial ships.



Amsterdam autonomous boat tech company Roboat has raised €550,000 in funding from LUMO Labs and SHIFT Invest.


Spin out of MIT and the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS), the company plans to transform urban waterway transport with fully autonomous boats featuring situational awareness, decision support, obstacle identification and avoidance, autonomous sailing, and automated docking and mooring. 


The company has developed AI software to navigate the traffic-heavy inland Dutch waterways and can be integrated into new vehicles or retrofitted into commercial ships responsible for people carrying, goods deliveries, and waste collection. 


According to Ynse Hendrik Deinema, Roboat CEO and co-founder: “We are collaborating with multiple clients across the Netherlands and Europe where our system either supports the skipper on the bridge deck or takes full control of navigation, depending on local regulations.”


The GVB (Gemeente Vervoerbedrijf) in Amsterdam, the city’s public transport company, uses the Roboat system for situational awareness on the GVB IJveer, providing an extra set of eyes to support the skippers.


Andy Lürling, Founding Partner LUMO Labs, shared:  “Cities worldwide are struggling with transporting people and goods over their congested roads. Waterborne transportation is a good alternative to cars and trucks, but shortage of personnel and relatively high OpEx is currently posing a bottleneck. Roboat’s technology offers a solution based on autonomous navigation. This market is expected to grow tremendously, since we need to rethink our transportation systems, making it more versatile and more sustainable.”


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