Catapults
PROJECTS

AUV3D

Developing pioneering automated inspection methods for offshore substructures.

Published 13 June 2018 Subsea inspections are a necessary part of maintaining an offshore wind farm. But current methods are both time-consuming and expensive, necessitating careful analysis of thousands of hours of video and making autonomous solutions a priority for innovators in the sector. Together with its pioneering 3D visualisation technology, Bristol-based SME Rovco’s cutting-edge subsea robotic systems provide offshore wind owner/operators with a clearer picture of their assets. Support from ORE Catapult helped Rovco secure Innovate UK and private investment funding to develop its one-of-a-kind artificial intelligence-driven software, which could lower inspection costs by 80%. The system is now moving to full testing and validation at the Catapult’s National Renewable Energy Centre in Blyth, where our role involves providing access to our docks for integration tests and trials, advising on test planning, providing suitable structures for scanning, and assessing whether the output imagery is suitable for industry use. Rovco has tripled in size in the past two years, and with an estimated export revenue of £20m per year, their robotics expertise has put the firm in line to become the market leader in subsea surveying, creating further jobs and UK benefit.