UK: Eleven-I and Innvotek Join Offshore Wind Robotics Challenge
Two UK-based firms have been awarded an opportunity to develop and showcase their innovative robotic solutions with GE Renewable Energy and the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult.
Eleven-I and Innvotek have both successfully applied to a robotics innovation call, the latest in a series of challenge competitions through GE Renewable Energy and ORE Catapult’s ‘Stay Ashore’ research and development program, delivered through the Offshore Wind Innovation Hub’s Innovation Exchange (OWiX) in partnership with KTN, ORE Catapult said.
Derbyshire-based Eleven-I, which provides instrumentation hardware, software, and data analysis technologies, has been selected to develop its blade monitoring and analysis system used to monitor offshore wind blade health throughout its lifetime, from post-manufacture and transportation through to operation.
Innvotek, a Cambridge-based technology innovation consultancy, was successful in its application to further develop a robotic crawler, equipped with bolt inspection capability and a tightening tool for generator maintenance.
Both companies will now go on to receive technical support, guidance, and demonstration opportunities with GE Renewable Energy and ORE Catapult.
They also follow two previous UK innovation challenge winners announced in November last year, Tethys and Aerones, which focused on developing novel blade maintenance technology solutions for GE.
The development of robotics technology is seen as vital for the offshore wind sector, which, according to ORE Catapult research, could cut its inspection costs by almost 40% through integrating remote operations, robotics, and automated systems into operations and maintenance activities.
Anthony Gordon, ‘Stay Ashore’ program manager and Senior Product Manager at GE Renewable Energy, said: "We believe that robotics solutions such as the ones presented by Eleven-I and Innvotek have the ability to significantly reduce operations and maintenance costs for offshore wind turbines like the Haliade-X. We are looking forward to seeing their innovation demonstrations.”