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Robots helping robots - A collaborative future?

Over the years we have seen a rapid growth in demand for autonomous- and remotely operated systems and vessels worldwide. This has had a significant impact on the traditional ways of managing maritime operations, offering sustainable, cost-effective and safer solutions.

Posted by:
Maritime Robotics

June 21st, 2023

We believe a collaborative use of such solutions will enhance these values even further; Improve offshore inspection and maintenance by launching the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) from an Uncrewed Surface Vehicle (USV). Enhance port and harbor security through a collaborative use of USVs and Autonomous Surface Vessels (ASVs). Conduct cost- and time-efficient surveys with a multi-vehicle system using USVs and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs).

CoMap - Cooperative Autonomous Multi-vehicle Mapping System project image

Why collaborative?

The sum of the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This is the underlying belief that motivates our efforts into developing multi-robotic solutions and the basis for our key initiative: Robots helping Robots. Through our participation in various R&D projects, and our long experience with uncrewed vehicles, we recognize the different strengths each individual robot has. The initiative Robots helping Robots will allow for each product and system to complement each other, enhance their capabilities, and add to the already existing benefits each of them provide.

These highly capable robotic teams are paving the way for new and exciting solutions in ocean space autonomy. Our USV, the Mariner X can work as a mobile takeoff and landing platform to an aerial vehicle, greatly increasing its reach and providing unique situational awareness from both the surface- and aerial vehicle. A team of Otter USVs, equipped with multibeam sonars can utilize their speed and endurance to conduct bathymetric surveys of larger areas at a time, allowing for time-efficient operations with reduced costs. If some unidentifiable feature is detected in the survey, the AUV with its diving capabilities can be sent to take a closer look. Operations previously done from crewed vessels can be done from a remote operation room, like deploying and controlling a tethered ROV, enabling the operator to focus on the live streaming video feed and optimizing the use of resources.

We see that collaborative solutions are able to offer even more cost-effective, safer and sustainable operations, and we are proud to be cooperating with industry players in making these solutions a reality.

ATOM - Photo from testing

About CoMAP

CoMap promotes cooperation between enterprises and research institutions in Norway and Portugal, to foster user-driven research-based innovations. This collaboration allows integrations of cutting-edge research into new company products, the sharing of markets and customers, to improve the competitive edge for the involved SMEs.

About ATOM

Maritime mapping and inspection tasks are at the moment typically performed using remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) controlled by operators from manned surface vessels. By combining unmanned surface vehicles (USV) with unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV), it is possible to perform both automated and remotely controlled mapping and inspection tasks without the need for a manned surface ship. This is the scope of the ATOM project, where Maritime Robotics is collaborating with Skarv Technologies and Eco Tone to build a marine multi-vehicle sensor system combining a USV and a UUV carrying an underwater hyperspectral imager.