Kongsberg Maritime: Reshaping Underwater Operations

First live trials of the Eelume underwater robot took place in Trondheim, Norway Photo Kongsberg Maritime

By Joseph R. Fonseca

Eelume AS has released the first live video footage
of its game changing take on underwater intervention vehicles.
With the support of Kongsberg Maritime as a development partner,
the unique new Eelume robot has torn up the marine robotics
rulebook to create a futuristic, snake-like vehicle designed to
live permanently underwater and carry out underwater intervention
tasks that would normally require the mobilisation of expensive
surface vehicles for divers or to launch and retrieve ROVs or
AUVs.

The footage captured at the PREZIOSO Linjebygg Subsea Test Center
during trials in the Trondheimsfjord shows the potential of the
Eelume vehicle to significantly improve inspection and light
intervention operations on subsea installations. The modular,
snake-like design allows the Eelume vehicle to access hard to
reach points on subsea structures while its ability to shift into
a U-shaped dual arm configuration allows intricate interactions
using a diverse toolset including torque tools, grippers and
specialised maintenance equipment.

The trials verified and demonstrated the features of Eelume's
snake-like underwater robot in a deep-water, marine environment.
Eelume confirmed that its vehicle has superior manoeuvrability,
in a stable sensor and actuator platform, and can provide easy
access to constrained areas not accessible by conventional
underwater vehicles. The Eelume solution will dramatically save
costs by reducing the use of expensive surface vessels. The
solution can be installed on both existing and new fields where
typical jobs include; visual inspection, cleaning, and operating
valves and chokes. These jobs account for a large part of the
total subsea inspection and intervention spend.

"Supported by Kongsberg Maritime's Marine Robotics department,
Eelume's recent demonstration was the culmination of the last
year of development work on this exciting project," said Richard
Mills, Director of Sales Marine Robotics, Kongsberg Maritime. "We
have learnt a huge amount during the development phase of the
Eelume vehicle, not least the need to configure the system
architecture correctly to enable future developments. When
completed, the vehicle will operate with a wide range of tools
and sensors including KONGSBERG positioning, communications and
potentially acoustic inspection sensors and chemical sniffers."

"Everything is progressing on schedule for the intervention
demonstration during the latter part of 2018. The system has
proven itself to be a very capable inspection tool able to reach
confined areas with ease. Potential operators and end customers
have shown a lot of interest in Eelume, not just because it is an
interesting technology, but also because it can do things that no
other vehicle can," concludes Arne Kjørsvik, CEO, Eelume.

Feb 17, 2017

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