6 years, 18 collaborators & 80 Jellyfishbots later
IADYS, innovative start-up developing artificial intelligence and robotic products in service of the environment, located on the Mediterranean coast near Marseille, has celebrated last September its 6th anniversary. With the announce of the 80th Jellyfishbot ordered, it’s a great opportunity to look back at the key moments of IADYS’ story, which began in 2016, with its founder, Nicolas Carlési.
Passionate about the sea since childhood, Nicolas Carlési practices on regular basis nautical and underwater activities such as sailing and scuba diving. It’s during these activities and especially during a trip to Sicily that he was struck by the amount of waste in the water (fishing nets, plastics, bottles etc. …). Consequently, he decided to act by putting his knowledge and robotic skills to good use in a large-scale project and surrounded himself with a team of experts in robotics, electronics and mechatronics.
He started IADYS in September 2016, and very quickly everything came together. Only two years later, in 2018, the first Jellyfishbot was sold to Cassis harbour. This extremely compact and robust robot collects floating waste in ports by remote control. By acting as close as possible to the sources of pollution, it prevents the dispersion of pollutants into rivers, seas and oceans.
But the original idea is evolving as the Jellyfishbot meets its audience. Why restraining the type of waste collected and why limiting its use to ports and marinas? The offer is adapted, new nets are developed to allow the robot to collect not only macro-waste and oils but also invasive organisms such as duckweed, or micro-particles such as paint dust, right down micro-plastics!
The Jellyfishbot is now designed for all operators looking for clean up and maintenance solutions for water bodies in France and abroad.
Indeed, since its inception, IADYS has continuously expanded internationally. With this successful strategy, IADYS is proud to have extended its activity beyond the French borders, in APAC (Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and Australia), in India, in Western Europe (Spain, Germany, UK, Finland, Croatia, Switzerland, Norway, Portugal, Monaco, Netherlands and Greece), in Tunisia, Turkey and more recently in USA.
Adopted equally by marinas, commercial ports, shipyards, private companies dedicated to waste collection such as SMA (Monaco Sanitation company) in Monaco, and by companies specialised in industrial sites’ depollution such as Serpol, industrials or even by water treatment plants, the efficiency and reliability of the Jellyfishbot are no longer in question.
Lately, Research Institutes in France and abroad chose to acquire a robot to conduct research on microplastics. Finally, several theme parks and leisure centres have equipped themselves such as Tokyo Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise, which is using the robot for the maintenance of their bassins and for educating and developing the awareness of their audience regarding the coast preservation.
Nicolas Carlési, IADYS’ founder and CEO shares his thoughts regarding the success of the company since the last years, “It’s a very proud moment as CEO to celebrate the 6th year of IADYS and to see how far we have come. What started off as a simple idea, 7 years ago, has now finally become a reality that is growing every day in France and is now being exported worldwide. These six years have not been a quiet river, we have experienced great moments of joy and victory but also many others of stress, dejection and sometimes disillusionment. It’s a daily struggle, but here we are today, celebrating our eightieth Jellyfishbot ordered. Seeing the team grow, the network of distributors expand, the Jellyfishbot gain popularity, ear the trust of our investors and win new customers galvanises us all. As we receive feedback, we improve and adjust our offer, which gives us a direction and encourages us to keep striving to offer the best product possible. I look towards the future of IADYS with confidence and determination, and I look forward to presenting our next innovations for the preservation of the environment and water and celebrating our 100th order”.
2021 has indeed opened a new chapter in the IADYS’s adventure. The set-up of the autonomous mode, with detection of static obstacles, constitutes a major turning point in the collection of floating waste. From now one, the operator can let the Jellyfishbot sail in complete autonomy, by avoiding the obstacles on its way, in an area designed by GPS points directly on the remote control, and work himself somewhere else. In June 2021, another revolution took place, and this time directly within the start-up. After several months of discussion and intense work, IADYS closed its first fundraising of 1.570M€! With the funds, the company has reinforced its Business Development, R&D and Marketing & Communication teams and now has eighteen employees.
If 2021 has allowed IADYS to actively pursue its development and deploy the Jellyfishbot in new territories, 2022 was been just as striking. Discussions are ongoing with distributors in Germany, the Middle East, North Africa, Hong Kong, the US and Canada.
In terms of innovation, IADYS has deployed a new bathymetric survey function this autumn. In real time, the radio control of the robot (open and smart pack) will allow the operator to know and monitor the depth of the water body. The R&D team has completed the development of a web platform, IADYS Monitoring Station, designed for the in-depth exploitation of these collected data, which will then provide an accurate mapping of the depth of the water body.
This technology is possible thanks to the integration of probes on the robot, which will emit an acoustic wave (a sound) that will propagate in the water. The depth is determined by the echo and the time taken for the sound to travel from the surface of the water to the bottom and back. From these data it is possible to draw up navigation maps, to decide on the development of the coastline, the quantity of sediment to be removed or to identify bulky waste on the seabed (scooters, cadis, bins, etc.). It’s also possible to add UACS on the robot for underwater obstacle avoidance or a camera for underwater exploration.
IADYS is also working on a water sampling kit that would allow operators to measure water quality, temperature, concentration of cyanobacteria, etc. These data are precious for structures welcoming the public in their water bodies as well as for the preservation of aquatic fauna and flora.
An oil skimmer will join soon IADYS’ products inventory. It is intended for clean-up companies, but also for state anti-pollution intervention services (military, fire brigade…) and industrial sites. Combined with the Jellyfishbot, it allows the collection of oil without using consumables (reduction of operating costs) and to intervene in narrow and shallow draught areas, along river banks for example. With these planned innovations, IADYS’ order book is filling up fast.
2022 ended with IADYS and LAMOR partnering to offer the HARBO Ultra-rapid boom in combination with the Jellyfishbot. This rapid deployment boom combines perfectly with the modularity and speed of implementation of the Jellyfishbot to allow operators to intervene as quickly as possible in the event of oil pollution.
The implementation of a second level of autonomy, mobile floating obstacle avoidance, is planned for early 2023, as well as a docking station to allow the robot to recharge without having to leave the water.