Ken Wahren (Director)
Ken has a long and highly successful track record in developing unmanned systems for the Air, Land and Maritime domains. In 2008 he developed two Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) types for the winning entry in the UK MoD’s Grand Challenge for autonomous systems. In 2010 he led feasibility work which established the principles of a novel maritime UAV concept, which later evolved into a major Anglo-French Technology Demonstrator Programme. In 2013, he led a small team that produced a highly innovative Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV), delivering a full scale proof-of-concept demonstrator vehicle in just eleven weeks. He has delivered numerous R&T projects for MoD, working within a number of programmes including the Autonomous Systems Underpinning Research (ASUR) programme, the Weapons Science and Technology Centre and the Maritime Collaborative Enterprise (MarCE). He is currently completing a PhD at Imperial College, for which he has developed a novel software architecture for autonomous vehicles, having won an Industrial Fellowship from the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 to fund his studies. Although he has spent the last decade developing innovative unmanned systems, prior to this he spent five years producing award-winning maritime planning and e-Navigation software that accurately models the response of commercial shipping vessels to measured and predicted wind, wave and tide conditions, based on each ship’s geometry and load state. He founded Autonomous Devices in 2015 to accelerate the development and commercialisation of advanced robotic systems, leveraging the UK’s world-class talent pool.
Despite being a relatively young company, Autonomous Devices has already delivered several highly successful projects to UK MoD and Aerospace, Defence and Transport customers. The company’s first project delivered to MoD was presented to the US DoD’s Principal Director of Research as one of four leading examples of SME innovation in the UK Defence sector, and was featured in a MoD-sponsored innovation showcase at DSEI.
Ken spends most of his spare time running after his small children, and explaining why the sun can move even though it has no legs.
Oliver Haanen (Roboticist)
Oli joined Autonomous Devices as a roboticist in 2015, having completed a mechatronics degree (mechanical and electrical/electronic systems) at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Oli was a patent examiner at the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand for a number of years, before the urge to build things and travel became too strong. Oli excels at electronic design, and implements the company’s IP strategy.
In his spare time, Oli makes ludicrous wagers with his mates, leading to general mayhem.