October 1, 2018 in Flashpoint, News from Our Companies

Marauder Robotics named named to MIT Solver class

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Dennis Yancey is CEO of Marauder Robotics.
Dennis Yancey is CEO of Marauder Robotics.

Marauder Robotics, an ATDC portfolio company developing underwater technologies to restore and maintain ocean ecosystems, was named to the MIT Solver class of 33 tech entrepreneurs who are solving global challenges.

An initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Solve seeks lasting solutions from tech entrepreneurs that address the world’s most pressing problems.

As part of being named to the Solver class, Marauder Robotics, co-founded by Dennis Yancey, CEO, and Arthur “Trey” McClung, chief technology officer, was awarded $10,000.

“We are incredibly inspired by each new Solver selected at Solve Challenge Finals as they advance solutions to four of the world’s biggest Challenges,” Solve Executive Director Alex Amouyel said in a statement.

Arthur “Trey” McClung is chief technology officer of Marauder Robotics.
Arthur “Trey” McClung is chief technology officer of Marauder Robotics.

“We want to support our Solver teams so they can access mentors and experts to help validate and scale their solutions, as well as additional follow-on funding and in-kind resources.”

Marauder Robotics was one of 1,150 solutions sent in from 110 countries to address Solve’s four global challenges:

  • Work of the Future
  • Frontlines of Health
  • Coastal Communities
  • Teachers & Educators

Marauder Robotics is one of nine Solve teams in the Coastal Communities Challenge.

“This win validates what we’ve been researching and being a part of Solve will help connect us to potential early-stage stakeholders, foundations, and grants from federal agencies,” Yancey said. “It also brings greater awareness to what we’re doing and it moves us one step closer to realizing a scalable solution to a global problem.”

The company’s technology seeks to rebalance underwater ecosystems by using an artificially intelligent and tunable autonomous underwater predator to augment reduced populations of natural predators to sea urchins.

The urchins — herbivores — feed on kelp, a type of algae.

But human demand for lobsters, crabs, and large fish have greatly reduced populations of the urchins’ natural predators, Yancy said, adding coastal development has displaced sea otters, another predator to urchin populations.

“With an imbalance in these predator populations, the urchins are eating all the kelp and kelp is the foundation of these ecosystems,” he said.

The company is slated to deploy its technology as part of a test project off the Tasmanian coast in Australia in early December.

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