Scorpio, TEKEVER to expand maritime drone use in shipping

maritime drones

Leading European maritime drone surveillance and data collection company TEKEVER has announced its partnership with global shipping giant Scorpio in an effort to accelerate deployment of UAVs for security and other operations above the seas.

Portugal-based TEKEVER has rapidly built a reputation as a maritime drone specialist, boasting government and public agency clients in the European Union that use the craft in surveillance work against drug and human traffickers, boats violating pollution and fishing rules, and even pirates. Now, in its pairing with Scorpio Investment Holding Ltd., the company hopes to further broaden deployment of UAVs in commercial shipping to both inform and protect operators from challenges and even threats they may encounter.

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Noting “95% of humans live in less than 5% of the Earth’s surface,” TEKEVER CEO Ricardo Mendes calls safe and sustainable surveillance of ships navigating increasingly unpredictable and perilous seas vital for future supply chain, offshore maintenance, and other activity. That, he says, can be achieved using tech-packed maritime drones from above to keep watch of what transpires on the waters below.

“To thrive as a species, we need to be able to safely discover, know, and protect our entire planet, harnessing and using its resources in a responsible way,” Mendes says. “Our purpose is to offer our customers a service that is simple, effective, and hides away the tremendous technical and operational complexity involved in what we’re doing. We’ve developed the entire technology stack and built a scalable industrial capability to create an end-to-end service that just redefines what’s possible in maritime surveillance. We’re leading in Europe, and we’re on our way to become the global leaders.” 

TEKEVER manufactures several types of maritime drones, including smaller craft assembled on-site, and larger fixed wing larger versions for longer missions. Its UAVs can fly up to 20 hours continuously, carrying onboard tech that includes cameras, radar, or cellphone detectors. 

The drones are built around an artificial intelligence-centric platform that combines Edge AI, satellite communications, and cloud computing to supply clients with real time information and advanced analytics, using globally accessible web and mobile interfaces. The European Maritime Safety Agency and the UK Home Office are among government agencies relying on TEKEVER’s drones for data gathering, intelligence, and general surveillance missions. 

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The company’s link up with Scorpio was part of its recent recruitment of $20 million in new investment. That partnership will now also seek ways to put TEKEVER drones to work keeping watch of its various maritime activities.

“Scorpio has founded and is a significant investor in the largest product tanker company in the world and the largest wind turbine installation vessel owner,” explains Mendes. “They additionally manage vessels for third parties and are a global ship manager. We are excited to explore the application for our fixed-wing drones, near-space communications, and VTOL solutions in the largely untapped market of commercial shipping operations.”

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