A ROBOTIC ARM MANIPULATOR FOR OFFSHORE OPERATIONS
WavEC Offshore Renewables, Portugal, Pedro Pires, firstname.lastname@example.org
Instituto Superior Técnico, UTLisboa, Portugal, Jorge Martins, email@example.com
ULPGC, Spain, Darío Sosa, firstname.lastname@example.org
CADFEM, Ireland, Derek Sweeney, email@example.com
Project Description / Objectives:
Ocean energy technologies are moving steadily from laboratory scale models to real scale prototypes and arrays of converters. In order to be reliable and cost-effective, all these devices require regular Underwater Inspection Repair and Maintenance (IRM) services. Nowadays the solutions of underwater inspection and maintenance are industrial class ROVs and divers. Since the current ROV solutions still do not provide a sufficiently low cost and high precision for many of the IRM operations (underwater welding, welding inspection, fouling removal, painting, valves operation, sacrificial anodes replacement, connecting underwater plugs, etc…), specialised divers are still being used by the industry, despite the high-risk and high rate of mortality and discouragement from regulatory associations such as DNV saying that “Installation, maintenance and decommissioning should be performed without a need for divers, where possible.” .
The Kraken project aims to tackle the existing gap of the ROV tools specially designed for the Ocean Energy sector needs with the objective to reduce the high OPEX costs associated to the underwater IRM. The development of a maintenance system that can be installed in any inspection/general class ROV and carry out all the services currently performed by divers and a good range of those performed by larger ROVs.
Kraken brings mature proven telemanipulation technologies from surgical rooms into the deep sea. Kraken’s objective is to improve the performance level of the offshore IRM operations by completely avoiding the human hazard of using divers and to reduce significantly the costs of work class ROVs by using smaller inspection ROVs deployed from much smaller vessels at a fraction of the cost.