Marine-i supports development of robotic arm for autonomous marine operations

Marine-i, the EU funded programme to boost innovation in marine technology in Cornwall, has made a grant award to specialist marine technology company, Submarine Technology Ltd (STL) to design and build an innovative robotic arm.

The arm is a ship-based multi-axis robotic arm for autonomous operations. It will form an integral part of a new Autonomous Synchronised Stabilised Platform (ASSP) to enable intervention tasks to be carried from Autonomous Surface Vessels (ASV). Typical intervention tasks will include equipment transfer and payload management, survey and inspection, launch and recovery.In the future, ASVs will play an important role in the inspection, servicing and repair of offshore wind farms and other renewable energy technologies.

“We already have a system to transfer people or equipment from a dynamic platform to a fixed platform,” said STL’s managing director, David Kirkley. “The ASSP is more complicated as it requires synchronous stabilisation between two moving platforms, for instance between an autonomous vessel and a floating wind turbine or wave-energy converter.”

STL has been working closely with Marine-i partner, the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult. Their sector lead on wave and tidal energy, Simon Cheeseman, says: “This technology has the potential to reach a massive worldwide market. With help from Marine-i, the team at STL will accelerate the development of their pioneering innovation.”