Cellula Robotics is a world-leading engineering solutions company that specialises in the turnkey design and production of seafloor intervention and subsea robotic systems. Cellula’s products are primarily used for geotechnical and geophysical applications around the world.
Through its dedicated team of highly skilled engineers, designers and technicians based in Vancouver, Canada, Cellula has developed extensive experience in projects that require integrated mechanical, electrical, hydraulic, and software elements in subsea environments.
Cellula has been involved in projects deployed offshore from the UK to Japan, Papa New Guinea to the Gulf of Mexico. Cellula supports these international projects with dedicated offshore personnel, on-call staff and a growing network of agents.
With a client base spanning mineral exportation to major oil and gas companies, Cellula has developed a rigorous ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System and corporate health, safety and environmental policy that continues to meet and exceed client expectations.
Robotic seafloor drills
Cellula’s seafloor drills are state-of-the-art, self-contained, remotely operated geotechnical analysis tools that can drill, case, core, and provide real-time CPT data to 150m below the seabed in water depths down to 3,000m.
Seafloor drills provide a major improvement in offshore drilling safety compared with surface vessels, as all tool handling is carried out remotely with no human intervention.
Cellula’s drills are used for applications ranging from geotechnical survey to mineral exploration and methane gas hydrate sampling.
Cellula’s seafloor drills are sophisticated and highly automated. The drills are designed to handle changing conditions during a drilling campaign. For example, if an unexpected hard feature is discovered during a geotechnical cone penetration testing (CPTs), the drill can switch tools, core through the feature and continue the CPT profile.
Control systems for subsea drills and instruments
Cellula has designed and delivered a wide range of high-performance control systems for seafloor drills, drill subsystems, subsea manipulators, ROV skids, scientific instruments and subsea well intervention systems.
Cellula’s control systems have been designed for one-atmosphere pressure vessels and / or use pressure tolerant electronics (PTE) in pressure balanced oil-filled (PBOF) enclosures, depending on the application and client’s requirements. Cellula’s well intervention systems are designed and tested to ISO-13628-6 specifications.
The human machine interface (HMI) is a key aspect of Cellula’s control system. The HMI includes real-time, high-speed monitoring and control using touch-based graphical user interfaces (GUI) and a range of dedicated tactile control inputs. The GUI commands can provide direct or servo control of actuators, or initiate high-level command sequences, depending on the system requirements.
Cellula’s control systems are based on low latency distributed architectures and are built on common proven platforms. They include bespoke processing and servo algorithms, as well as limit checking, fault checking and status logging, customised to suit each application.
As an integral part of Cellula’s quality management system, a comprehensive revision control process manages all control system software releases.
Robotic automation for subsea projects
Building on the strength of Cellula’s control systems and electro-mechanical engineering expertise, robotic automation is implemented as a key component in many projects.
Automation is used to increase the safety, reliability and efficiency of repetitive tasks, reducing the operation costs of these projects. In addition, automated controllers are often used in remote locations in order to provide real-time guidance and control commands, reducing the load on remote operators.
Typical automation algorithms include modified PID control loops with predictive response modelling, advanced digital filtering, automated sequencing, hierarchical task decomposition, kinematics and multiple degree-of-freedom (DOF) co-ordination.
Custom engineering and design services
Cellula applies the skills and experience gained from seafloor intervention and subsea robotic systems to a wide range of custom engineering applications. Cellula can carry out front-end engineering and design (FEED) studies for innovative and challenging applications, or provide specific analysis and modelling such as ANSYS finite element analysis (FEA), vehicle dynamic body motion, rock-cutting and slurry flow.
Cellula can further develop an in-house or third-party FEED into a full design build project, including factory demonstration, sheltered water and offshore trials.
Throughout a project, Cellula works closely with clients to develop concepts into detailed design solutions for production, adapting the design to fit with a project’s developing goals.