Saab Seaeye's Falcon Flies High
In 2020, Saab Seaeye sees the Falcon flying high as the top-selling electric underwater robotic vehicle in its 34-year history.
Launched nearly 20 years ago, its design has kept the pioneering concept in step with two decades of global technological advances.
The Falcon has opened up many new sectors to the potential of robotics, from marine science to aquaculture and from wind energy to hydroelectric dams.
The design created a small, powerful, multi-tasking, easy to use, reliable and robust vehicle - with intelligence.
Just a meter-long and rated 300 to 1000 meters depth, the Falcon’s five powerful thrusters and intelligent distributed control system – now enhanced with iCON control architecture - offers precise maneuverability whilst working in strong cross-currents and amongst complex structures, in a concept that has remained unbeaten for over 20 years.
A key breakthrough concept was its distributed intelligent control which uniquely gave each device on the Falcon its own individually controlled microprocessor. This eliminated interface cards, jettisoning the conventional electronics pod and making the vehicle smaller and lighter.
Intelligent distributed control meant that, for the first time, tools and sensors could be easily added or changed, and custom options readily integrated, making it an ideal platform for numerous intricate and demanding applications.
More interchangeable equipment could also be fitted on a small vehicle than ever before possible.
And by introducing plug-and-go technology to underwater robotics, operators and scientists found a ready development platform for creative opportunities.
The Falcon concept also made data more accessible for local and internet control and status interrogation, along with remote piloting via satellite.
This distributed intelligence breakthrough has opened an evolutionary pathway for the entire industry and given birth to Saab Seaeye’s revolutionary iCON common technology ecosystem of intelligent configurable hardware and software modules.
Today, iCON with its advanced behavior-based intelligent control architecture is installed on Falcon as part of its own evolutionary journey.