Skip to main content

University of Sydney technology goes global after 20 years

2 December 2019
Robotic drill sells for around $100 million
A portable remotely operated drill used for deep sea exploration that was developed by University of Sydney researchers in the 1990s has been sold to a British offshore engineering company.

The PROD can be lowered to depths as low as 3,000 metres. Credit: Benthic Geotech

A technology that for over 20 years has been integral to mining, telecommunications and scientific surveying that was first developed by the University of Sydney recently sold for around $100 million.

The technology was the PROD, a portable remotely operated drill, and the sale was brokered by offshore engineering giant, British company Acteon who procured the technology from Australian-founded Benthic Geotech.

Although the recent sale was reported, few Australians would know of the technology’s significance in expanding the global knowledge of oceans and for progressing the field of robotics.

In the 1990s, the drill was developed as part of a collaboration between two academics from the Faculties of Engineering and Science, Professors Peter Davies and John Carter, who sought to better understand and access benthic zones - ecological regions and the sediment sub-surfaces that lie at the bottom of oceans.

Its original purpose was to search for the origins of life in depths as low as 2,000 metres, and for the first time the technology enabled researchers to access oceanic ridges and valleys; vast underground mountains and canyons ground out over millions of years by contracting tectonic plates.

It wasn’t until 1997, when the PROD was catalysed by Benthic Geotech it set the course for the technology to become a game changer. The commercialisation enabled a new understanding of the world’s oceans by allowing a deeper and more precise core sampling of sediment layers.

The outgoing chairman of Benthic Geotech, Russell Staley, said the technology was revolutionary, “There is no doubt that PROD, a University of Sydney invention, has revolutionised the deep-water site investigation marketplace, particularly in the oil and gas arena.”

“It’s taken a lot longer than we first thought but ultimately the benefits of the PROD technology has been recognised as a market leader by such mega oil majors, such as Exxon, Chevron, BP, Total, Statoil, Eni S.p.A and Australia’s Woodside,” he said.

Although the initial PROD blueprints had been developed by Professor Davies and his research team, they required capital and commercial collaboration to be conceived as a working prototype.

Professor Davies had studied geology alongside John Doran, who by 1997 had become the CEO of Australian exploration company, Roc Oil. Mr Doran helped source investment from investor, Geoff Ainsworth and venture-capital fund, Momentum Ventures.

They then partnered with the Warman International subsidiary, MD Research to build the PROD1, a partnership which included start-up investor, Gary Zamel, as well as University of Sydney technicians and geotechnical engineers, Rob Manning, James Shields, Steve Payor and Pat Kelleher who, twenty years on, are still employed by Benthic Geotech.

The PROD has been used to map previously uncharted ocean territories, such as tectonic ridges. Credit: Benthic Geotech

Previous technologies used to map seafloor geology were typically crude and cumbersome, often damaging samples or disturbing underwater habitats. According to Professor Carter early methods were akin to “lowering a string of spaghetti to the bottom of the seafloor.”

Past methods for benthic sampling were also dangerous, requiring “roughnecks” – offshore drilling rig workers – to manually assemble and lower drill strings while teetering precariously on the surface of far-flung, rough seas, a practice that for decades made work on oil rigs inherently unsafe.

The PROD pioneered early intelligent systems, using an accurate, remote-controlled robot that could be lowered to the depths of oceans without the reliance of a floating platform to remain stable. Remote access has allowed Benthic Geotech's PROD to lead the industry, becoming the safest technology of its kind.

Speaking to University News in 1997, Professors Davies and Carter predicted that the PROD would be of fundamental importance for industries working primarily in offshore petroleum, telecommunications and pipe-laying. They foresaw the PROD’s immeasurable impact on research into offshore mapping, and for understanding previously uncharted watery terrains and for tackling global climate change.

Today there are three PRODs in operation, ferried by Benthic Geotech to key underwater mining sites across the globe including Brazil, Qatar and Senegal. Last year the technology reached a record water depth of nearly 3,000 metres.

Over the past two decades the technology has also allowed geoscientists to drill into “black smokers” – deep volcanic vents that produce deposits of sulphide and are thought to be the birthplace of seemingly primordial organisms. The PROD has also allowed scientists to install permanent surveying equipment on a seafloor region off the coast of Norway.  

When proposals for the PROD’s commercialisation were presented to the University of Sydney Senate in 1997 by the-then Vice-Chancellor Professor Gavin Brown, he described it as "an excellent example of the type of alliance that the University should be seeking with industry".

22 years later, not only has the PROD’s development enabled a richer understanding of the deep sea, but the field has remained integral to the University of Sydney across multiple disciplines, particularly within the Faculty of Engineering whose School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering has maintained a focus on underwater surveying.


红玫瑰直播ios官网下载 蓝精灵直播安卓版下载 咪咪直播安卓版下载 免费黃色直播安卓版下载 硬汉视频安卓版下载 水晶直播ios官网下载 小花螺直播安卓版下载 秀儿直播安卓版下载 盘她直播ios官网下载 小狐仙直播ios官网下载 恋人直播ios官网下载 黄瓜视频安卓版下载 免费黃色直播ios官网下载 恋人直播安卓版下载 雨云直播安卓版下载 橙子直播安卓版下载 大西瓜视频ios官网下载 向日葵视频ios官网下载 榴莲视频安卓版下载 火辣直播ios官网下载 花狐狸直播安卓版下载 卖肉直播安卓版下载 柚子直播安卓版下载 名优馆ios官网下载 health2ios官网下载 快狐安卓版下载 葡萄视频安卓版下载 佳丽直播ios官网下载 夜遇直播号安卓版下载 小猪视频ios官网下载 花姿ios官网下载 微杏安卓版下载 盘她直播安卓版下载 成版人音色短视频安卓版下载 一对一直播安卓版下载 茄子安卓版下载 金鱼直播ios官网下载 盘他直播安卓版下载 望月直播ios官网下载 一对一直播安卓版下载 6房间视频直播ios官网下载 千层浪视频ios官网下载 直播盒子ios官网下载 7秒鱼直播ios官网下载 bobo直播安卓版下载 茄子视频安卓版下载 春水堂视频ios官网下载 仙人掌ios官网下载 向日葵安卓版下载 红娘直播ios官网下载 盘他直播安卓版下载 猛虎直播ios官网下载 蓝精灵直播安卓版下载 猫咪视频安卓版下载 月亮直播安卓版下载 麻豆传媒直播安卓版下载 黄鱼视频安卓版下载 斗艳直播ios官网下载 茄子视频安卓版下载 恋人直播ios官网下载 Avnightios官网下载 小奶狗视频安卓版下载 JAV名优馆ios官网下载 后宫安卓版下载 四虎ios官网下载 么么直播安卓版下载 和欢视频安卓版下载 豆奶抖音短视频ios官网下载 黄瓜视频ios官网下载 花狐狸直播安卓版下载 青草视频安卓版下载 可乐视频ios官网下载 小怪兽直播ios官网下载 小奶狗视频安卓版下载 Avnightios官网下载 麻豆传媒直播安卓版下载 探探直播ios官网下载 含羞草ios官网下载 冈本视频安卓版下载 水仙直播安卓版下载 樱花安卓版下载 樱桃视频ios官网下载 内裤直播ios官网下载 小米粒直播安卓版下载 f2富二代ios官网下载 水晶直播ios官网下载 91香蕉ios官网下载 97豆奶视频安卓版下载 iAVBOBOios官网下载 s8视频ios官网下载 快猫安卓版下载 豆奶抖音短视频安卓版下载 樱花雨直播安卓版下载 水蜜桃ios官网下载 茄子ios官网下载 成版人茄子视频ios官网下载 咪哒直播ios官网下载 猫咪视频安卓版下载 向日葵ios官网下载 荔枝视频安卓版下载 樱花安卓版下载 花秀神器ios官网下载 富二代ios官网下载 樱桃视频ios官网下载 趣播ios官网下载 泡芙ios官网下载 猫咪视频安卓版下载 午夜直播间安卓版下载 小宝贝直播ios官网下载 咪哒安卓版下载 草鱼安卓版下载 蚪音ios官网下载 小怪兽直播安卓版下载 欢喜视频ios官网下载 小喵直播安卓版下载 成版人抖音安卓版下载 压寨直播ios官网下载 成人快手安卓版下载 小蝌蚪ios官网下载 佳丽直播ios官网下载 丝瓜视频污安卓版下载 老王视频ios官网下载 秀色小抖音安卓版下载 笔芯直播安卓版下载 九尾狐直播ios官网下载 fi11含羞草安卓版下载 葫芦娃ios官网下载 ML聚合直播安卓版下载 梦鹿直播ios官网下载 麻豆传媒安卓版下载 成版人快手安卓版下载 麻豆传媒直播安卓版下载 水晶直播ios官网下载 蘑菇视频安卓版下载 swag台湾ios官网下载 斗艳直播ios官网下载 橘子视频安卓版下载 趣播ios官网下载 花姿安卓版下载 酷咪直播ios官网下载 暗夜直播安卓版下载 浪浪视频安卓版下载 花秀神器ios官网下载 花姿安卓版下载 红玫瑰直播安卓版下载 梦鹿直播ios官网下载 葫芦娃安卓版下载 猛虎直播安卓版下载 小狐仙直播安卓版下载 月夜直播安卓版下载 一对一直播ios官网下载 音色短视频安卓版下载 男人本色西瓜视频安卓版下载 泡芙安卓版下载 本色视频ios官网下载 皮卡丘直播ios官网下载 宅男之家安卓版下载 考拉直播ios官网下载 丝瓜ios官网下载 享爱ios官网下载 皮卡丘直播ios官网下载 红娘直播ios官网下载 avgoios官网下载 粉色视频安卓版下载 97豆奶视频ios官网下载 小酒窝直播安卓版下载 小狐仙安卓版下载 尤蜜视频安卓版下载 swag视频安卓版下载 内裤直播ios官网下载 health2ios官网下载 七秒鱼直播ios官网下载 花友直播安卓版下载 香草成视频人安卓版下载 斗艳直播安卓版下载 最污直播ios官网下载 秀色小抖音安卓版下载 芭乐视频安卓版下载 蓝精灵直播安卓版下载 抖阴直播ios官网下载 豆奶短视频安卓版下载 媚妹秀ios官网下载 花狐狸直播ios官网下载 小草莓ios官网下载 草莓视频安卓版下载 千层浪直播安卓版下载 金鱼直播安卓版下载 七秒鱼ios官网下载 美岁直播ios官网下载 棉花糖直播安卓版下载 丝瓜视频污安卓版下载 BB直播安卓版下载 咪哒ios官网下载 盘她s直播ios官网下载 探花直播安卓版下载 遇见直播ios官网下载 最污直播安卓版下载 小酒窝直播ios官网下载 夜夜直播ios官网下载 皮卡丘直播ios官网下载 小狐仙ios官网下载 黄鱼视频安卓版下载 番茄直播安卓版下载 含羞草视频安卓版下载 仙人掌ios官网下载 小天仙直播ios官网下载 黄瓜视频人ios官网下载 小小影视ios官网下载 水晶直播ios官网下载 花姿安卓版下载 麻豆传媒视频ios官网下载 烟花直播ios官网下载 火爆社区ios官网下载 花样视频安卓版下载 Kitty直播安卓版下载 柠檬视频安卓版下载 樱花安卓版下载 小优安卓版下载 ML聚合直播安卓版下载 f2富二代ios官网下载 快狐短视频安卓版下载 恋人直播ios官网下载 泡芙安卓版下载 麻豆传媒视频安卓版下载 茶馆视频安卓版下载 美梦视频ios官网下载 十里桃花直播ios官网下载 葫芦娃视频ios官网下载 男人本色西瓜视频ios官网下载 遇见直播安卓版下载 卡哇伊安卓版下载 荔枝ios官网下载 青青草ios官网下载 蜜蜂视频安卓版下载 逗趣直播安卓版下载 萝卜视频安卓版下载 青草视频ios官网下载 樱花直播安卓版下载 梦幻直播ios官网下载 快猫短视频ios官网下载 AVnight安卓版下载 草莓视频ios官网下载 后宫ios官网下载 91香蕉视频ios官网下载 麻豆传媒视频ios官网下载 玉米视频ios官网下载 九尾狐视频ios官网下载 香蕉直播ios官网下载 欢喜视频ios官网下载 草榴短视频ios官网下载 千层浪视频安卓版下载 大番号安卓版下载 望月直播安卓版下载 花样视频安卓版下载 享爱直播安卓版下载 蜜桃直播ios官网下载 花样视频ios官网下载 猫咪视频ios官网下载 色秀直播安卓版下载 火爆社区安卓版下载 灭火卫视ios官网下载 向日葵视频ios官网下载 泡泡直播ios官网下载 AVnight安卓版下载 遇见直播安卓版下载 内裤直播ios官网下载