The offshore fish farming lack of solutions for underwater inspection and maintenance tasks that still rely on traditional diving methods with exposed human hazard. This human hazard can be reduced by using ROVs. However, the acquisition and operation costs of the work class ROVs are a limitation in the offshore fish farm sector, with no guarantee that the ROVs with the current manipulator arms can do the complex task with the high degree of dexterity required. This limitation results in divers being the most used underwater inspection and maintenance operations, despite safety hazards and their complex logistics.
WavEC participation in the Artifex project is to develop a robotic manipulator that will fulfil that gap by introducing mature proven telemanipulation technologies from the surgical room into the deep sea with the objective of improving the performance level of offshore IRM operations by completely avoiding the human hazard of using divers and to reduce significantly the costs of using work class ROVs. This allows the end-user to use smaller Observation and mid-sized class ROVs that can be deployed from smaller vessels for a fraction of the cost and perform complex tasks with the dexterity similar to the human arm.
Funding: Research Council of Norway
WavEC Coordinator: Pedro Pires
Total Funding (Requested EU contribution): € 1 904 681
WavEC Funding: € 62 452
Duration: 01 July 2016 – 31 December 2018 (36 months)
Coordinator: Maritime Robotics AS
Partners: Argus Remote Systems AS, Lerow AS, ACE, SINTEF Fiskeri og havbruk, NTNU and WavEC Offshore Renewables