Robotica in Maintenance Strategies (RIMS), a global maintenance consultancy firm specialising in the use of drones and smart robots, has received approval from the Korean Register of Shipping (KRS) for the use of drones to survey enclosed spaces.

Using drones enables members of staff to inspect objects in real-time and in considerable detail without requiring expensive and potentially dangerous equipment such as cherry-pickers or scaffolding. Drones are also safer and simpler to transport and operate, and will allow RIMS to conduct observations efficiently and cost-effectively.

Inspections will be carried out by two types of drones, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) that function underwater. The drones are the result of ‘extensive collaboration and research’ conducted with the University of Gyeongnam Geochang in South Korea, and are intended to inspect parts of ships considered ‘high risk’, and difficult for staff to access safely.

“After researching the possibilities and technology available, KR successfully completed a series of tests utilising camera-equipped drones for ship inspections,” said the KRS in a statement,” and at the same time established a registration process for service suppliers, including the University of Gyeongnam Geochang.

RIMS was the first company registered as a drone supplier to Bureau Veritas, a world-leading offshore verification body, and has since received approval from the ABS and RINA groups, and Lloyd’s Register, also for the use of drones for observation purposes.

“We have come a long way in our quest in the practical integration of drone technology in the world maritime surveying,” said David Knukkel, CEO of RIMS. “Having now gained five class approvals over the last six months, it has demonstrated to us a major shift for the maritime world in both awareness and attitude.”

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