Strategic Elements Ltd (ASX:SOR) is increasing its focus on opportunities in robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and automation, which are likely to see a big increase in commercial and investor interest.
As the coronavirus pandemic impacts all countries, governments are increasingly focusing communications on the importance of protecting critical infrastructure that provides essential services.
The shutdown of any of these facilities, which include energy, communications, water, transport, health, food, banking and finance, would affect hundreds of thousands of people.
Protecting critical infrastructure
Evidence of this focus can be seen in the major investments being made by governments and business in securing and protecting critical infrastructure.
According to a report from Marketsandmarkets, the global CIP (Critical Infrastructure Protection) market is expected to grow to $153.16 billion by 2022.
SOR has an opportunity in this sector with its 100%-owned Stealth Technologies Pty Ltd and, as such, expenditure in the resources sector will be scaled back in the short to medium term.
Focused on robotics and AI security
Managing director Charles Murphy said: “We have been extremely focused upon the opportunity in front of us in the robotics and artificial intelligence security space.
"This focus has only intensified, given the impact of the coronavirus and the need for governments to ensure critical infrastructure is secured and services continue uninterrupted to their populations."
Shares are almost 30% higher at 4.4 cents.
Agreement with Honeywell
Stealth Technologies has an agreement with global Fortune 100 software-industrial company Honeywell International Inc (NYSE:HON) to collaborate on building experimental autonomous robotic vehicles for security applications.
Honeywell, which has a market cap of approximately US$100 billion, operates total asset and facility management operations globally across a range of market segments including justice, aviation, commercial, health, defence and hospitality.
The agreement involves the two companies working together to develop an experimental autonomous security vehicle (ASV) which incorporates:
- StealthOS software and computer vision;
- AutoDrive for autonomous vehicle control; and
- Customised robotics to automate specific physical actions.
Stealth will retain ownership of all Intellectual Property it creates and the go-to-market strategy adopted is focusing on Honeywell-managed Australian and International facilities.
This agreement is sector-specific with Stealth free to market ASVs to other sectors, including health, mining, utilities and defence.
SOR is backing the development of a proprietary autonomous robotics platform with a team of international award-winning PhD and Masters engineers with deep experience in AI, computer vision, autonomous vehicles and robotics for software and hardware.
Murphy said: “We have recently enhanced our executive team appointing James Hemmings as vice-president A/NZ. James has extensive technology industry experience and is a proven leader in driving business growth and customer success with large corporate and government clients.
"James is a non-executive director of Rubicon Red, one of Australia’s leading API consultancy firms, and has previously held senior sales and marketing positions at Oracle Corporation and Technology One."
Although the development of the autonomous security vehicle is the priority, the company is also investigating other opportunities such as:
- Computer Vision Opportunities - Video surveillance systems, access control systems, alarms and notifications systems are increasingly becoming more sophisticated with the use artificial intelligence and computer vision technologies.
- Health Sector Robotics Opportunities - The company has received approaches from scientists in regard to the potential for the stealthOS robotics platform to be directly utilised in the health sector. The company is assessing potential commercial use cases and will update the market further in this regard.
SOR’s MD added: "We will release a further update on the activities and developments within Stealth Technologies shortly.”
The company is also finalising its near-term strategy for Australian Advanced Materials and the Nanocube technology.