Robotics & Autonomous Systems

Find out more about our robotics and autonomous systems testing and validation facilities.

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Electrical Infrastructure Research Hub

The Catapult has appointed the University of Strathclyde and the University of Manchester to form the Electrical Infrastructure Research Hub.

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Automation & Engineering Solutions

Find out more about our work in robotics, autonomous systems and artificial intelligence.

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Stay Current

Dig deeper into the biggest issues facing offshore wind, wave and tidal energy with our series of Analysis & Insight papers.

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Live Innovation Opportunities

There are a number of programmes laying out the key technology innovation challenges faced by the offshore renewables industry that, when solved, will help drive down the cost of offshore renewable energy, with positive effects for the industry and UK economy. Visit our Live Innovation Opportunities page to find out if your technology has the answer.

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Introduction

This area comprises of four work streams:

  • Robotics, autonomous systems and artificial intelligence.
  • Operations & maintenance access systems.
  • Wind farm monitoring systems and tools.
  • Repair solutions and performance upgrades.

Our programmes are designed to assist the supply chain in developing, demonstrating and commercialising technologies with the potential to reduce the costs and risks associated with delivering offshore wind O&M.

A key challenge is to reduce the time spent offshore by vessels and personnel operating in challenging, high-risk environments. We believe robotics, autonomous systems and remote monitoring solutions – where the UK has existing capability within the wind and other transferable sectors – have a large part to play in addressing this need.

Successful delivery of the programme objectives has the potential to reduce the levelised cost of energy by 2.2%.

 

Our activity

We are engaging with owner/operators and OEMs to understand and the challenges they face delivering offshore O&M. We play an active role in communicating these challenges to academia and the supply chain in order to stimulate technology innovation that adds value.

For promising technologies, we partner with academia, the supply chain (including SMEs), and challenge owners to access grant funding and develop, demonstrate and validate the technical and cost benefits.

Using our industry knowledge and engineering expertise we can assist in the specification of solutions that meet industry demands. Our world-class test assets offer the unique opportunity for technology developers to demonstrate and validate their O&M solutions in representative operating environments. Finally, our comprehensive LCOE model helps to quantify the cost benefits of new technology or approach.

 

Being able to test equipment on a full-scale, energy-generating offshore wind turbine – that can be accessed simply by walking across a ramp from the shore and is within an hours’ drive from Edinburgh airport – is of huge significance in terms of reducing the cost and time to bring new systems to market.

Philip Taylor
Business Development Director, Limpet Technology

Our projects

In the area of robotics and autonomous systems, ORE Catapult is developing methodologies to test and validate the performance and reliability of both subsea and aerial autonomous inspection systems.

In the RITE (Remote Inspection Technology Evaluation) project, we are evaluating the performance of drones for blade inspections using the Levenmouth 7MW Demonstration Turbine. The AVISIoN (Autonomous Vehicle for Inspection of Offshore Wind Subsea Infrastructure) project is developing, in collaboration with Modus Seabed Intervention, the world’s first fully autonomous approach to the inspection of subsea cables and foundations, and survey of the seabed. CLOWT (Clone of the Levenmouth Wind Turbine) is a project supporting SMEs to demonstrate novel sensor technologies for monitoring the behaviour of large offshore wind turbines in real-world conditions.

 

Key successes

We are working with a number of UK SMEs to further develop and demonstrate their novel O&M technologies, including Limpet, Perceptual Robotics, Modus Seabed Intervention, Braendler Engineering, Span Access, Innotech and Ocean Array Systems.

 


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