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Watbots: appoints new CEO

  • Sector: Sea
  • Date: March 1, 2023

  • Company: Watbots builds and develops autonomous robots for daily washing, inspection and advanced analysis of fish farming nets.

Frank Eriksen takes over as the new CEO at Watbots AS on 1 March. The company makes autonomous robots for daily washing, inspection, and advanced analysis of fish farming nets. Eriksen is leaving his job as IT manager at Elop Technology, where in recent years he was a part of the team that created the world’s first rolling ultrasound scanner for concrete. With his mechanical background, Eriksen helped with the design of components and raised the prototype to a finalized product for the market. Eriksen takes over the job from Håvard Lillebo, who co-founded the company in 2019.

For several years, Eriksen worked for larger companies such as NRC Group where he led the Norwegian IT department, but he also has extensive entrepreneurial experience as a self-employed and in minor teams before that time. What is exciting about a smaller organization like Watbots is the influence to create a culture that rewards those who promote ideas for improved efficiency and minimizing mistakes when create a quality product that ensures no biomass growth on both sides of net on traditional fish farms.

When I learned that the robot was based on magnetism and that it has no cables in the fish farm, I thought that this was a very interesting product, explains Eriksen. Today, new batteries with greater capacity and new types of stronger motors suggests that the technology development is going in the right direction to invest in robotization and automation. It will be really fun to be able to use all my experience from previous work with supply chains, implementation, production, and scaling, so this is what I live for, says Eriksen.

Watbots AS is based in Sandnessjøen, Norway, which is located between mighty mountains and beautiful islands on the coast of Helgeland. This is also close to Leirfjord, where Eriksen grew up with this family. At Helgeland there is a wonderful community of people with a traditional culture for food and the nature is amazing with access to the warm orange evening sun and the northern lights, says Eriksen. I would like to influence others who are considering moving to the region. We can now work with deep technology at locations like this, and we have room for many more in the region, concludes Eriksen.