Apsara Horizon is the dialogue segment of Alibaba Group’s Apsara Conference. It features figures who are engaging with Asia’s cutting-edge technologies. In these dialogues, esteemed guests share their stories and perspectives on the challenges, opportunities, and future of their respective fields. The topic of the third conversation on October 19 was “Conquering the depths with robots,” with guest speakers Liu Qi, deputy general manager of Sublue, and Phakhachon Hoonsuwan, co-founder of Rovula.
Phakhachon started by sharing Rovula’s background as a spinoff from one of Thailand’s oil and gas companies. The company sought to develop solutions such as efficient repair methods for damaged subsea pipelines and unmanned surveillance of offshore rigs. Sublue, on the other hand, provides B2B solutions but also produces B2C products, allowing customers to experience the depths of the sea without conventional diving gear. Liu said Sublue’s underwater scooter “integrates a series of sensors, including depth, temperature, heading, and so on. It allows user to know their diving parameters underwater and it’s like an underwater smart car.”
Despite the advancements in subsea robots, Phakhachon pointed out that there are still challenges, especially in subsea communications. This is an area where he is particularly eager to see new developments, as efficient interactions between robots would open up the opportunity for an active subsea ecosystem. Both guests remain hopeful about the adoption of subsea technology, noting that much of the earth’s oceans have yet to be thoroughly explored.
Check out the full dialogue of “Conquering the depths with robots” here: