Yamaha Motor to Provide Engineer for Seabed Exploration Race — Will join Japanese team competing in the Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE —
May 10, 2017
IWATA, May 10, 2017—Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. (Tokyo: 7272) announced today that it has sent an engineer to “Team KUROSHIO”- a collaboration team bringing together Japanese industry, academia, and government - which is taking on the challenge of the “Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE” 4,000m deep-seabed exploration race. To provide the best possible support for the team, Yamaha Motor conducted an open in-house recruitment and screening program to select a young engineer passionate about contributing to this bold venture.
Yamaha Motor is engaging in this collaborative research with the objectives of (1) improving internal motivation through grand challenges, (2) acquiring knowledge related to marine technology/business and building networks, and (3) embodying the brand slogan "Revs your Heart." At the same time, Yamaha Motor aims to contribute to the team through technological development leveraging its marine business and unmanned systems business, logistics (miniaturization of equipment and efficient packaging), knowledge of race management gained through motor sports activities, and so on.
The "Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE" is an international seabed exploration competition sponsored by the XPRIZE Foundation in the United States. It is a US$7 million international race based on the challenge of achieving accuracy and speed in 3D mapping of the 4,000m-depth class of wide areas of seabed using autonomous underwater vehicles. A total of 32 teams from 13 countries have entered the competition, of which the results will be announced in December 2018 after examination of the technical proposals and two stages of seabed exploration testing.
"Team KUROSHIO" is a team created by collaboration bringing together Japanese industry, academia, and government. The team is principally formed by young researchers from the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), the University of Tokyo Institute of Industrial Science, the Kyushu Institute of Technology, the National Institute of Maritime, Port and Aviation Technology, etc., as well as specialists in marine technology from domestic research institutions and private companies. The creation of this team and its entry into the competition stakes Japan’s prestige as a maritime nation.
*AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicles) = Incorporates marine photonics, seabed cable systems, and geographical information systems, etc.
[Name of competition] Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE
[Hosted by] XPRIZE Foundation (U.S.A.)
[Purpose of the Foundation] Promotion of technological development which benefits humanity (bringing breakthroughs for the benefit of mankind through incentive competition)
[Purpose of the event] Acquisition of new technologies leading to higher-speed and lower-cost seabed resource surveys
[Hosting schedule] December 2016: Screening of technical proposals; Team KUROSHIO) is the only Japanese team which cleared this hurdle September 2017 Round 1 Construction of a seabed map in waters of2,000m depth and photographing of a specified seabed object September 2018 Round 2 Construction of a seabed map in waters of4,000m depth and photographing of a specified seabed object December 2018 Announcement of results
[Past competition themes (prize amount)] - Manned ballistic space flight (US$10 million) - Lunar exploration (US$30 million) - CO2 conversion product development (US$20 million) - Improvement of adult literacy rate (US$7 million)
Team KUROSHIO overview
[Team name] Team KUROSHIO *Formed July 2016
[Aim of team formation] Aiming to build new business models from Japan, a maritime nation, by taking-up the challenge for the XPRIZE
[Estimated development field] - Development and manufacture of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) and offshore repeaters (ASV) - Seabed survey operations/Sales of data obtained by seabed surveys
[Affiliations of team members] Core members: Young researchers from the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, the University of Tokyo Institute of Industrial Science, the Kyushu Institute of Technology, and the National Institute of Maritime, Port and Aviation Technology Participating Members: Staff from domestic research institutes and universities,
as well as private enterprises (Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding, Nippon Marine Enterprises, KDDI Research, Inc.,
and Yamaha Motor)
The engineer to be dispatched from Yamaha Motor
Yuta Shindo 30 years old * As of May 10, 2017
[Affiliated department at Yamaha Motor] Functional Unit Engineering Division, Component Section, PF Model Unit
[Selection] Selection of engineer to be dispatched through open in-house recruitment based on essay and interview screening, etc.
[Comment] "I was touched by the passion of the researchers of the same generation saying that they "want to overturn the current common sense," which sparked my challenging spirit as an engineer. While being aware of responsibilities as a representative of Yamaha Motor, I want to take on the challenge of beating the world with this team. However, there is a limit to the power of one person. Therefore, I will make efforts to transform the wide variety of resources the company has into strong assets for our team."