Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) company Eelume has partnered with Kongsberg Maritime and Statoil to develop swimming robots that perform subsea inspection.
The robot technology is expected to cut costs for subsea inspection, maintenance and repair operations.
Eelume’s new swimming robot performs inspection and light intervention jobs on the seabed and reduce the use of large and expensive vessels.
The robot has a snake-like form, slender and flexible body and provides access to certain restricted areas that are difficult to get into with current technology.
Eelume CTO Pål Liljebäck said: "With our unique expertise in the field of snake robotics, Eelume is the first company in the world to bring these amazing robots into an industrial setting.
"Now we take the step from academia and into the commercial world to secure our place in the new and exciting subsea intervention landscape."
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Eelume robots will be permanently installed on existing and new subsea fields to carry out planned, as well as on-demand inspections and interventions.
These robots will form tasks such as visual inspection, cleaning, and adjusting valves and chokes which account for a large portion of the total subsea inspection and intervention spend.
Kongsberg Maritime Subsea Division executive vice-president Bjørn Jalving said: "This partnership offers the chance to bring radical technology to the market, not just in what the Eelume robot can do, but how it does it.
"It is a new tool that will enable operators to realise large-scale cost savings by introducing new ways of conducting routine tasks and helping prevent unscheduled shutdowns by reacting instantly when required."
Image: A disruptive solution for underwater inspection and maintenance in the form of a swimming robot. Photo: courtesy of Kongsberg Maritime AS.