Norwegian firm builds and successfully tests subsea robotsVessel & ROV News // February 16, 2017
In December 2016, Norwegian underwater robotics company Eelume successfully built and demonstrated what it describes as the world’s first "snake-like underwater robot" for offshore operations.
Testing took place in waters of Trondheimsfjorden and at the PREZIOSO Linjebygg Subsea Test Centre in Trondheim.
The purpose of the testing was to verify and demonstrate the features of Eelume's snake-like underwater robot in a deepwater environment.
Eelume confirmed that their vehicle has good manoeuvrability, is a stable sensor and actuator platform, and has easy access to constrained areas not accessible by conventional underwater vehicles.
Eelume describes the underwater robots as "a versatile platform for various kinds of underwater operations" that cna be equipped with several types of sensors and tools. An important application of the robots is to carry out inspection and light intervention jobs on subsea installations.
Eelume anticipates that robots of the type it has developed would be permanently installed on the seabed, ready for planned and on-demand inspection and intervention.
"This solution will dramatically save costs by reducing the use of expensive surface vessels, which are needed to support such operations today," said the company.
Eelume vehicles could be installed on both existing and new fields. Typical jobs include visual inspection, cleaning, and operating valves and chokes. These jobs account for a large part of inspection and intervention spend.