A state-of-the-art underwater survey robot is set to be demonstrated for the first time this month. It will act as an autonomous underwater system for nuclear inspection to improve safety.
The demonstration is a part of the £2.4m Autonomous Aquatic Inspection and Intervention (A2I2) project, a collaborative R&D project supported by Innovate UK under the Industrial Strategy Research Fund.
The A2I2 consortium, led by Rovco, is developing various world-leading technology for use across multiple sectors, including offshore wind, nuclear, oil and gas, and other industries, which aims to improve safety by reducing risks when working in challenging and hazardous environments.
The consortia include Forth, Rovco, D-RisQ, the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), Thales UK and The University of Manchester, who have been developing autonomous underwater systems as part of a cross-cutting programme, which brings together expertise from multiple industries and academia.
Rovco has been supporting each work stream with its groundbreaking, artificial perception technologies including 3D Computer Vision, Simultaneous Location and Mapping (SLAM), autonomous path planning and scene understanding using Machine Learning (ML). Rovco’s Intelligent Data Collection System can be integrated into any subsea vehicle to enhance its capability.
Programme Manager, Peter Routledge said: “Underwater robots are increasingly utilised for commercial and scientific applications to make measurements and interact with underwater assets and the environment. The project’s goal is to develop underwater autonomous vehicles that can improve safety and reduce the challenges of operating in hazardous environments.”
This nuclear use case demonstrator will show how the technology can be used for offshore coring, and wet nuclear storage pond surveys and interactions.