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Smart ROV LATIS: Next Generation of Underwater Robotics

06.05.2013
Smart ROV LATIS: Next Generation of Underwater Robotics

The aim of "Ocean Systems Modelling: Supporting Technologies for Ocean Energy Systems" project, funded under the Charles Parson's Energy Research Awards at University of Limerick, is focused on the design and development of a set of assistive tools and technologies for system integration, deployment, monitoring, and maintenance of ocean energy devices (in particular - wave energy converters and tidal turbines). Research outputs of the project are, however, equally applicable to the larger and growing international off-shore oil and gas sector and the move in this sector to operations in challenging deep water exploration and production.

The assistive tools comprise of simulation, modelling, control and visualisation tools, including modelling of ocean waves, currents, surface and submerged energy converters, marine platforms and supporting vessels (ships and ROVs). The flexible design of these tools enables their use as separate standalone modules, as well as their integration into a unique integrated system. A major component of the system, designed as a prototype platform to demonstrate system validity & operability and to prove new technologies developed in the Mobile and Marine Robotics Research Centre, is a smart remotely operated vehicle ROV LATIS.

"Recently, I had the opportunity to be part of the sea trials of a prototype vehicle, the ROV LATIS, onboard the research vessel Celtic Voyager. It is a truly remarkable piece of technology, and I am convinced it represents the next generation of underwater robotics. The ability of the vehicle to navigate, its user friendly piloting controls, dynamic and static positioning capabilities and built-in malfunction corrective functions far surpasses anything that presently exists on the market and as such would greatly increase both the speed and accuracy of subsea operations. It is my estimation that a significant savings in the time required to perform underwater tasks, along with the commensurate savings in operational costs, would be achieved should this technology become available for wide scale commercial and industrial use."

"There presently exists an MOU agreement between our respective institutions. We at the Marine Institute would greatly appreciate further collaboration in this area, especially with regards to adopting some of the system technology for simulators and Smart ROVs, exploring partnership possibilities in licensing this technology and future joint research projects in underwater robotic technology".

Richard VanderVoort, ROV Expert - Marine Institute, Memorial University Newfoundland, Canada.

"LATIS is exceptional, cutting edge technology, and most likely the future of ROV piloting."

Donovan Tulk, ROV Pilot (Student) International Collaboration in ROV Development

The Journal of Ocean Technology, Vol. 5, No. 3.