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EMAILED ON February 1, 2019 BY Wes Schlagenhauf

Orca AI raised $2.6m, not to mine shipwrecks, but to prevent them

Mother Ocean is not to be trusted, but d*mn it she should be respected! Just ask the 1 person in every friend circle who’s made the mistake of thinking the ocean is their friend, and they’ll show the scar that proves it’s not.

Orca AI is a company that already knows this, according to VentureBeat. The company, which engineers maritime navigation solutions using AI, announced the close of a $2.6m funding round to help stop shipwrecks before they start.

Putting lighthouses out of business

Nearly 4k boat collisions take place every year, with a majority of those collisions happening near shore or in ports (why do you think lighthouses were invented, people?) — but this is 2019.

According to Orca AI CEO Yarden Gross, mistakes often take place when a captain or crew is forced to rely on their instincts when existing navigation tools fall short.

With Orca, a combination of thermal cameras, low-light cameras, and other sensors keep seamen aware of nearby ships and alert them about potential danger.

Orca’s lookin’ at you, Maersk

Orca will sell its product to companies whose ships carry dangerous cargo like oil or gas or ships that float around in congested port areas.

“Basically, every commercial ship is the target. We’re building a solution that’s going to [one day] be suitable and generic to any kind of vessel,” Gross said. “Autonomous vessels will change the industry dramatically like autonomous cars.”

Two words: Robot Pirates.

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