Tech venture fund joins forces with $US100bn heavyweight to pursue robotics in critical infrastructure
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Special Report: The company is seeking to strengthen ties with $US100bn global conglomerate Honeywell Inc, as part of a product development collaboration.
For Strategic Elements (ASX:SOR), the COVID-19 health pandemic has helped to accelerate research and development in one of the company’s key target markets.
The company confirmed this morning that the agreement its fully-owned subsidiary, Stealth Technologies has with the NYSE-listed Honeywell International is for the development of experimental Autonomous Robotic Security Vehicles (ASVs) in the area of critical infrastructure surveillance and protection.
The move comes in response to an expectation for increased demand, as governments and major corporations reassert their efforts to protect critical infrastructure assets in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
And it ties in directly with strategic plans that Stealth already had underway, said Strategic Elements’ Vice President (AU/NZ) James Hemmings.
“We’d been undertaking market analysis and tesing of Stealth’s ASV product offering in a range of critical infrastructure sectors,” Hemmings told Stockhead.
“The initial findings of this market analysis have given us confidence to refine our focus on the critical infrastructure sectors, which appears to represent a strong product market fit for the ASV, and its advanced surveillance and detection, autonomous patrolling and deterrence capabilities.
That resulted in the identification of key markets
Stealth’s market hypothesis has only been reinforced by the increasing levels of commentary and action of many governments around the world focussing on the importance of critical infrastructure. So I believe the validation we received through this commentary andaction was really important for the business.”
As part of the collaboration with Honeywell, Stealth will retain full ownership of all the intellectual property it creates in vehicle development. Upon successful completion of the experimental autonomous security vehicle it is hoped that Honeywell will support the go to market strategy via its existing network of managed infrastructure facilities in a particular sector both in Australia and overseas.
“The business has identified two paths to market, starting with strong collaboration and future partnering opportunities with Honeywell,” Hemmings said.
“But outside of that collaboration, our goal is to also identify those direct paths to market for Stealth to forge ahead and grow the business, with particular emphasis on sectors with critical infrastructure installations in Australia.”
“So while we’ll be working alongside Honeywell and delivering innovation and value to their customers, the business also has an opportunity to establish itself in its own right.”
The increased focus on the development of high-tech ASVs is a good example of how Strategic Elements can leverage its network and knowledge base to be flexible in pursuing new opportuntieis.
As part of its broader market strategy, SOR is also backing the development of Stealth’s proprietary autonomous robotics platform, with a research team led by PhDs and award-winning engineers in fields such as advanced AI and computer vision.
While the ASV development will take initial priority, the team is also assessing opportunities in computer vision surveillance systems and health sector robotics.
“We have been extremely focused upon the opportunity in front of us in the robotics and artificial intelligence security space,” Strategic Elements managing director Charles Murphy said.
“This focus has only intensified, given the impact of the Corona Virus and the need for governments to ensure critical infrastructure is secured, and services continue uninterrupted to their populations.”