Bristol-based Vaarst, a technology spin-off from leading subsea robotic and hydrographic survey company Rovco, was formally launched in late March with the goal of revolutionising the offshore robotics sector – leveraging intelligent data flows for smart asset management and creating an energy-efficient and more sustainable future.

The business aims to accelerate advancement in ocean robotics, giving marine and subsea providers access to next-generation technology that will enable them to deliver AI-driven autonomous robotic work at scale.

The plan for Vaarst

Vaarst will target the energy and marine sectors through its innovative technologies, such as SubSLAM X2 – an intelligent data collection system that delivers robotic spatial awareness and live 3D point clouds to any device in the world, without costly positioning systems, thereby saving many project days. This, combined with the company’s machine learning and autonomy expertise will then provide the very best in efficient data collection and AI interpretation.

The new spinout company, Vaarst, is predicting immediate 2021 revenues over £1m rising to £20m+ rapidly in the next few years.

Vaarst CEO and Founder, Brian Allen, says “Autonomous robotics are the key to reducing the cost of offshore operations. At the same time, digitalisation of field assets is essential as the industry evolves, marrying these two concepts is needed to realise the real benefit of modern tech. It’s the data that has to drive the vehicles. Vaarst is committed to unlocking the potential of offshore robotics for all.

He continues: “We’re tremendously excited about the future, and really delivering our customers’ digital and robotic ambitions.”

Vaarst - SubSLAM X2 3D imaging technology


Vaarst will operate globally, with headquarters in Bristol, and has 29 employees with plans to grow to 70+ by end of 2022. The company is a technology spin-off of Rovco which was founded in 2015 and has invested heavily in real-time artificial intelligence-based 3D vision and autonomy systems. Future plans will see Vaarst take its offering to the wider industrial robotics global markets in sectors such as mining, construction, farming and land survey.

Rovco has appointed Simon Miller to take over as its new Managing Director as Brian turns his attention to launching Vaarst.

“This has been in the making for a while,” says Brian, “The time has come for someone else to lead Rovco forward on its journey and handing over the reins to Simon was an easy decision to make.

“Vaarst has so much potential and will now also be targeting new markets in the industrial robotics sectors with tech that was born from the offshore world.”

Founded in 2015, Rovco has invested heavily in the development of real-time artificial intelligence and 3D vision systems for marine robotics. The goal now is to expand this technology offering across multiple industries within Vaarst.

Shona Wright

Shona covers all things editorial at TechSPARK. She publishes news articles, interviews and features about our fantastic tech and digital ecosystem, working with startups and scaleups to spread the word about the cool things they're up to. She also oversees TechSPARK's social media, sharing the latest updates on everything from investment news to green tech meetups and inspirational stories.