The objective of our business project is to help save human lives by entering the aquatic lifesaving equipment market for lifebuoys. The recent growth of the shipping and leisure sailing (wider seafaring) industry has in turn increased the risks and number of Man Overboard (MOB) situations leading to drowning at sea and rivers. Expected product – ‘iLifebuoy’ is an autonomous robotized lifebuoy that eliminates the challenges associated with the traditional life saving devices. Like the St. Bernard dogs, iLifebuoy autonomously finds & reaches the person and provides them first support. The novelty – it is not a remote-controlled lifebuoy- it is a collaborative robot. iLifebuoy is a fully autonomous tracer, but it receives (video) input from a human. It uses three different built-in sensors (audio, video and sonar) to pin-point the location of MOB in water, then activates a powerful water jet propulsion to reach and provide support to the MOB within less than a minute! iLifebuoy further sends a MAYDAY signal to channel 16 and emits the GPS coordinates of the MOB. The advantages over all competitors – iLifebuoy saves crucial time in a MOB situation since A) it does not require a qualified lifeguard to be around – the first person who identifies the MOB can directly deploy the iLifebuoy in the water; B) it effectively eliminates the need for lifeguards to enter the water and reach the person in distress. Additionally, iLifebuoy is more cost effective than any competing solutions and outperforms them on key user criteria (full competitive assessment included).
State of development – TLR6, first engineering prototype has been successfully tested. An existing patent, an application with the World IP Organisation, and a robust IPR strategy protect our innovation and ensure its potential for commercialisation and freedom to operate. Marine PV Technologies was specifically spun off to develop and launch the iLifebuoy products. Its business strategy and team are structured to ensure the innovation’s successful market uptake. Our target groups are: A) watercrafts (incl. cruise ships, ferries, passenger ships, tourist boats, canal boats, yachts; B) coastal infrastructure open to the public (bars / restaurants located at a canal or right on the sea, pedestrian bridges). Our Primary market for product introduction will be A) watercrafts.