The ARGGONAUTS – the only German participants in the Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE – are expanding their team. Sasa Jevtic will be support the Fraunhofer IOSB team with immediate effect in its development of autonomous robot systems used for deep sea exploration. Last February, the team led by Dr. Gunnar Brink reached the semi-finals of the competition, which offers a total of $7 million in prize money.
Jevtic will take on the position of Deputy Project Leader of the ARGGONAUTS. As a robotics expert with international experience, he will mainly support the team in the coordination of work packages, the procurement process and resource planning within the project.
“We’re glad that we have gained a new colleague in Sasa Jevtic, who doesn‘t only possess the necessary technical know-how, but also the required entrepreneurial experience in the development of affordable and flexible products. It is specifically those skills we need for the competition,” Dr. Gunnar Brink, leader of the Strategy and Innovation Departments at Fraunhofer IOSB and team leader of the ARGGONAUTS emphasizes.
As its contribution to the Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE, the team has produced a swarm of interconnected robotic deep-sea drones as well as a number of small, autonomous carrier vessels. The systems are currently in the testing phase and will be ready to use by the first round of the competition in the fall of 2017.
“This project is an exciting challenge, both technologically and because of the time restraints. I look forward to contributing my knowledge and experiences,” Jevtic said.
Jevtic graduated from Maribor University with an IT degree and specializes in the design, development and implementation of software solutions in C++ and Java. As co-founder and CEO of a robotics firm with several employees in Slovenia, Jevtic can draw on a wide range of experiences regarding the financing, marketing and business model development of complex technology products. Jevtic also offers independent advice to several technology companies and public institutions. His focus in this role is procuring national grants for technology projects, the development of international distribution channels and the development of global business networks.
The ARGGONAUTS team is made up of 26 employees from seven different countries, including scientists from different fields at the IOSB in Karlsruhe and Ilmenau as well as a number of freelancers and student associates. Within this interdisciplinary and cross-site collaboration, the project team uses its own project management process model that builds on agile software development methods such as SCRUM, develops them further and adapts them to the specific requirements of the competition.
“Because of the tight deadline of the XPRIZE competition, we are forced to accelerate the development process externally. Thanks to our ‘eXtreme Innovation’ approach, we are able to shorten key development phases in the project, while at the same time ensuring optimum control of development progress,” Brink said.