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Designed by a small team of 25-year-olds that goes by the name Planys Technologies, this lightweight and affordable underwater robot called “Mike” is best suited for shallow surveys.

Currently, it is being tested in the Indian waters for underwater surveillance to check damage to ship hulls and oil pipeline leaks.

Mike can descend up to 100 meter and record footage.

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In countries like India, divers are hired to save cost but it involves risk. Alternatives are other remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) that are expensive and designed for deep-water surveys. Some can even weigh a few tons. Mike is promising and its makers say that the vehicle could be used for specialized tasks such as testing nuclear radiation leaks.

TechInAsia reported that the concept was incubated at IIT-Madras, a top-tier university in Chennai, India, where two graduates Vineet Upadhyay and Tanuj Jhunjhunwala collaborated with two of the university’s academics, Professor Prabhu Rajagopal and Professor Krishnan Balasubramaniam, to develop it.

Planys has raised about $260,000 in angel funding from the Singapore and Chennai chapters of Keiretsu Forum. It has also received a grant from India’s Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.

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