Autonomous Systems News

The Gwynt Y Mor wind farm. Photo from Rovco.

Subsea Robotics for Renewables

As the global fleet of offshore renewables fleet increases, ways to reduce the cost and increase the efficiency and safety of operations and maintenance work, using robotics and autonomous systems, will also grow. Elaine Maslin reports.Robotics and autonomous systems are moving into many areas of modern day life. It’s becoming harder to avoid them, from our phones to automotive systems and now offshore energy renewable projects.Both are seen as tools to do otherwise dull, dirty or dangerous work, without human involvement, but also as a way to reduce operational cost and to produce more reliable

(Photo: ASV Global)

Symbiotic Autonomy for Deep Water Survey

;s Loch Ness. The tests were the culmination of the three-year ‘Autonomous Surface and Sub-surface Survey System’ collaborative project, part-funded by Innovate UK and Dstl, which set out to produce an integrated system to perform low cost, full water column marine surveys using multiple autonomous systems.During trials in and on the loch, Sonardyne’s ultra-short base line (USBL) acoustic positioning and AvTrak telemetry systems enabled ASV’s C-Worker 5 autonomous surface vehicle (ASV) to locate, track, command and control the NOC’s Autosub Long Range (ALR) autonomous underwater

(Photo: AUVSIF)

RoboSub Competition: 20 Years of Fun and Learning

Dr. Daniel Deitz, a program officer in ONR's Ocean Battlespace Sensing Department and RoboSub judge. "It provides students with career field experiences and, for the Navy, it provides a venue for development and better understanding of autonomous undersea vehicles [AUV]."    Autonomous systems will extend the air, surface, underwater and ground vehicle capabilities of the Navy and Marine Corps, as shown in recent exhibitions like Unmanned Warrior and the S2ME2 ANTX [Ship-to-Shore Maneuver Exploration and Experimentation Advanced Naval Technology Exercise].   "As unmanned

(Copyright Thales)

Thales Invests to Advance Autonomy

in two new UK-based trials and training centers.   Following Thales’s successful trials during the Royal Navy’s Unmanned Warrior exercise in 2016, Thales is now investing in two trials and training centres based in West Wales and in South-West England to test and develop autonomous systems for both military and civil activities.   "Investing in these facilities enables the safe test, evaluation and training of autonomous platforms, innovative research and development, as well as the regulations for military and civil applications. These facilities will be central

Vice Admiral Michael J. Connor (Photo: United States Navy)

Connor Joins Kraken Board

. in Physics from Bowdoin College and an M.A. in National Security Studies from the United States Naval War College. Vice Admiral Connor is currently the CEO of ThayerMahan Inc., a company he founded to accelerate the United States' ability to effectively and efficiently monitor ocean activity using autonomous systems.   Karl Kenny, Kraken President & CEO said, "We are delighted to welcome Admiral Connor onboard the Kraken team. Mike is recognized globally as one of the foremost authorities in undersea operations. He has a deep understanding of undersea robotics and autonomous systems and

(Photo: ASV Global)

First Ever USV-supported Cable Route Survey

a station on TerraSond’s mother ship. ASView used exported .dxf survey lines from the TerraSond survey planning system to autonomously execute an accurate survey with minimal human intervention.    ASV Global has supported TerraSond for three consecutive years refining the use of autonomous systems in hydrographic survey applications. This year’s deployments follow on from a 2016 charting survey completed in the Bering Sea, off Alaska where ASV Global and TerraSond marked an industry first by completing a 9,578km hydrographic survey, 4,213km of which were completed unmanned. Combined

University of Plymouth’s Saab Seaeye ROV launched off their vessel RV Falcon Spirit (Photo: Marine-i)

Marine Robots Take Center Stage

from leading experts in the field, they will also be able to make valuable new contacts who could help accelerate new business ideas to market.”   Speakers for the event include market-leading companies such as Ørsted (previously Dong Energy (UK)), Cornwall-based TouchByte and Autonomous Systems developer SEICHE, as well as experts from the University of Exeter and Plymouth University. ORE Catapult will discuss the challenges involved and Innovate UK will talk about national funding opportunities. There will also be interactive exhibits and innovative technologies on display.  

(Photo: Liquid Robotics)

Wave Glider to Help Protect Marine Sanctuaries

Office of NMS Pacific Islands Regional Director, said, “Utilizing the latest technology in marine sciences helps us protect some of the older marine ecosystems in the world — a truly groundbreaking opportunity for ONMS and Liquid Robotics.”   Liquid Robotics said the use of autonomous systems and services to augment NOAA’s ONMS current resources will enhance their ability to assess and evaluate the increasing threats posed by illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU); water quality and marine debris; coral reef damage and bleaching; and climate change.   &ldquo

Figure 1: Hell Bay 4 demonstrated collaboration using robots from different manufacturers. 10 systems networked together through a central command station. (Photo Courtesy SeeByte)

Unmanned Forces: Building a Multi-Domain Autonomous Fleet

potential of unmanned vehicles. Another block in the road toward collaborative autonomy is that manufacturers of unmanned systems may be specialists in autonomy for their own particular domain whether that be land, air or maritime.    Each domain comes with its own challenges. To date, autonomous systems have seen the most development and traction in air. The air domain in itself presents very challenging obstacles such as creating an aerodynamic system capable of successful landing and take-offs, as well as maintaining airborne flight unaided by a pilot. There are also legal challenges such

(Image: Lockheed Martin)

Lockheed Martin to Design an Extra Large UUV for the US Navy

undersea vehicle that Lockheed Martin designs, we bring to bear the state-of-the-art in technology, and innovative system integration of those technologies, to increase the range, reach and effectiveness of undersea forces and their missions,” said Frank Drennan, director, submersibles and autonomous systems, business development. “With decades of experience supporting the U.S. Navy’s mission, our engineers are approaching this design with a sense of urgency and continued agility.”   Lockheed Martin employees in Palm Beach, Fla., will perform the work on Orca, with additional

Garrot, a Canadian Coast Guard’s launch dedicated to the hydrographic survey operations of the Canadian Hydrographic Service recently converted to unmanned mode by ASV Global. (Photo: Fisheries and Oceans Canada)

Hydrographic Survey Vessel Converted for Autonomous Ops

to ensure its safe operation. Situational awareness is provided by five onboard cameras with audio feedback. ASView monitors the launch’s onboard sensors including depth, engine and battery health status alerting the remote station of any potential hazards.   ASV Global’s team of autonomous systems engineers worked with the CHS team to complete the installation and acceptance tests onsite in Canada over the course of five weeks. Following on-water testing, ASV Global delivered its MCA recognized Maritime Autonomous System Operator training course to delegates from CHS and CCG

(Photo: BMT)

UK Partners Launch Autonomous Navigation Project

As unmanned surface vessels continue to gain ground globally, a new project in the U.K. sets out to address challenges relating to the coexistence of autonomous systems and traditional manned vessels in shared water space. The £1.2 million ($1.6 million) research project, dubbed SWANS (Shared Waterspace Autonomous Navigation by Satellite), is funded by the U.K.’s innovation agency Innovate UK. Project lead BMT will work with partners ASV Global and Deimos Space UK to enable beyond line of sight, over the horizon, autonomous behavior by unmanned surface vessels in areas of congested

Photo from Catch the Next Wave at Oceanology International 2016 (Photo: Reed Exhibitions)

Parallel Events Add Depth to Oceanology International

2018 exhibition and conference, will runs from March 13 to 15 at ExCel, London, as organizer Reed Exhibitions looks to expand the event’s remit. The 24th edition of this biennial global forum will spotlight technological developments including robotics, advanced sensor technology and autonomous systems. The conference program, meanwhile, will include 11 free-to-attend technical tracks, all chaired by prominent industry figures.    In addition to the main schedule, the 2018 event will host a series of parallel showcases. The first of these, the Ocean Futures Forum, runs from 9:30

Photo from Oceanology International 2016 conference (Photo: Oceanology International)

Oceanology International '18: Conference Schedule Finalized

Vehicles & Vessels track, chaired by Steve Hall, CEO of SUT; Dan Hook, Managing Director of ASV Global; and Prof Russell Wynn, Chief Scientist of NOC's Marine Autonomous and Robotic Systems. This will examine the potential dividends arising from the current and projected deployment of marine autonomous systems including ASVs, ROVs and AUVs. The first track scheduled for Wednesday, March 14, 2018 is Delivering Efficiencies Across the Offshore Oil & Gas Life Cycle, chaired by Christopher Curran, Senior Consultant at CJC Enterprises, and Steve Barrett, Senior Vice President, Business Development

(Image: Rovco)

Rovco Secures Funding for 3D Visualization Project

Catapult’s wave and tidal sector specialist, Simon Cheeseman, said, “The UK is leading the world in the development of offshore wind farm subsea autonomous inspection technologies, and our role in this project clearly illustrates how our facilities in Blyth can be used to help develop autonomous systems for the offshore industry.    “The Catapult is in a unique position to not only identify opportunities for the use of disruptive technologies in offshore wind farm operations and maintenance to improve efficiencies and reduce costs, but also to help and support innovative

XPRIZE Senior Director Dr. Jyotika Virmani, Ph.D., will give a closing keynote at Catch The Next Wave. Credit: XPRIZE

Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE Announcements at OI2018

.” Key conference presentations on Tuesday, March 13 include ‘Our Land Under the Sea’ (10.25-10.45), helmed by Richard Salisbury, senior Consultant, Fugro; ‘Integrating Unmanned Systems into Maritime Mission Systems’ (13.05-13.20), hosted by Tim Munn, Maritime Autonomous Systems Technical Lead, Thales UK; and ‘Ocean Farm 1 – The World’s First “Smart” Fish Farm’ (11.50-12.10) with Thor Hukkelås, Director Aquaculture R&D, Kongsberg Maritime. The latter presentation, is one of several examining emerging solutions for operating

Kongsberg’s Yara Birkeland unmanned container ship concept. (Image: Kongsberg)

Ocean Autonomy: Norway to the Fore

Marine autonomous systems working independently and in connected systems are fast becoming a growth sector within the ocean industry space, including the oil and gas industry.The emergence of new marine autonomous systems appears to be a weekly occurrence. As costs have reduced in numerous areas, from sensors to satellites, some of these systems are also coming within the grasps of ordinary citizens, as well as ocean scientists, looking to unlock the secrets of the deep.Part of the drive for these systems, in the oil and gas industry at least, is to reduce use of manned surface vessels, which are

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