Robotic sailboats, ocean-activity-sensing buoys and underwater drones were showcased by their founders at this month's MarineTech-themed Hardware Meetup.

A huge thanks goes to Simon Werner from Anemoi Robotics, Graham Harris, and Ben King from Boxfish Research for speaking.

Our sponsors Blender Design, GPC Electronics and GridAKL were in attendance, and this month we welcomed Hudson Gavin Martin as our legal support. 

Speaker #1: Simon Werner from Anemoi Robotics

Simon Werner is Founder of Anemoi Robotics, and has built an unmanned autonomous sailboat to enable marine scientists to conduct monitoring and research all over the globe.

Simon Werner from Anemoi Robotics

Simon's current prototype is a carbon fiber radio controlled (RC) sailboat. He has removed the RC gear and replaced it with a small BeagleBone computer. The BeagleBone is able to receive commands through either Wifi or a cellular network and it is also able to control the servos (motors in the sailboat). 

Anemoi Robotics

The sailboat only needs to control the rudder for steering and tighten the sails for different wind directions. He has also integrated GPS, an accelerometer, gyroscope and compass; these devices allow the sailboat to know it's own position, heading and orientation.

Simon is in the next phase of development, and is hoping to get his products into the hands of scientists as soon as possible.

Can you help Anemoi Robotics? Reach out to Simon here.

Speaker #2: Graham Harris - Buoy Developer

Graham Harris is a buy developer who has been working on a couple of different projects.

One is a buoy to conduct some experiments at sea converting wave energy into a usable form.

The insides of one of Grahams buoys.

The insides of one of Grahams buoys.

Another is a buoy to listen to the sounds of the ocean and detect fishing activity.

The idea is to distinguish fishing activity (which may be illegal) from 'innocent passage' of a fishing boat through an area where it may not be allowed to fish. Thus, fishery enforcement (hugely expensive to keep patrol boats at sea 'in case') can be targeted much better and the odds tilted in favour of the fish. 

Pitches From The Audience

Five audience members pitched hardware-related things for one minute each:

Pitch #1: Cameron Stewart from Parametric Furniture
Cameron has recently launched his company Parametric Furniture, where he partners with designers from all over the world to make beautiful furniture. 

Cameron launched his first product at the event, a designer bed frame which arrives as a kitset and is made up by the purchaser.

Pitch #2: Ulrick Frerk from JUCEBOX
Ulrick is Co-founder and CEO of JUCEBOX, a company which develops IoT and home automation solutions.


JUCEBOX needs a Node.js dev with AWS experience. Can you help them? Reach out here.

Pitch #3: Emily Melhuish from OMGTech! 
Emily is a volunteer for OMGTech!, and pitched a new initiative which is pairing students with mentors.

20 young technology leaders will be selected mainly from decile 1-4 schools around NZ, based on criteria aimed at ensuring more young people in these communities take up 21st Century skills such as coding. The programme starts in April 2017 and they will complete the programme by April of 2018.

They're on the lookout for mentors who can work with students. If you're interested, you can reach OMGTech! here.

Pitch #4: Anne Abbott from AUT
Anne is a PhD student in Machine Learning at AUT, and is organising a panel discussion as part of the Women in Tech event at AUT during Techweek in May. 

She was after female speakers for the panel (and I understand she found multiple speakers for her event after her pitch). Keep track of when this event is happening on the Techweek site.

Pitch #5: Adrian Dorrington from Chronoptics
Adrian is CTO of Chronoptics, and they're on the hunt for team members.

Chronoptics designs Time-of Flight 3D cameras and algorithms, and they're looking for skillsets ranging from hardware designers, to system engineers (FPGA and imbedded Linux), and image processing computer scientists.

They are interested in people who potentially satisfy criteria for Callaghan Innovation funding, possibly new ME or PhD students under the R&D Fellowship Grants or R&D Career Grants. If you can help Chronoptics, reach out to them here.

Do you have something to pitch? Please come along to our next event!

Speaker #3: Ben King from Boxfish Research

Ben King is Co-founder of Boxfish Research, a company who have built an ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) for underwater use, specifically for science, exploration and filmmaking.

boxfish research 1.jpg

The Boxfish ROV is the first mini submersible built specifically for streaming live uncompressed 4K-UHD video to the surface.

All research and development has been carried out in-house, and the team have even built much of the manufacturing equipment themselves. The 360 spherical camera, also built by Boxfish Research, is available either with the ROV or as a standalone product.

The team had bought footage of their underwater journeys, and had it available via VR headset.

They want to get their products into the hands of customers - if you can help with this, get in touch with Boxfish Research here.

Event Images

Many of Auckland's (and New Zealand's) top engineering and product design minds were in attendance, as well as many up-and-coming hardware enthusiasts. You can get notified of ticket releases for upcoming events by subscribing to our database.

Other Hardware Meetup News

We're postponing our April HealthTech event to gear up for our May Aerospace event, happening in Techweek. HealthTech will happen in June instead.

Rest assured, we're locking in some amazing speakers for Aerospace. This event will coincide with a nationwide set of technology and business events, happening as part of Techweek (6th to 14th May 2017).