Aker BP, DeepOcean, Forssea Robotics develop autonomous subsea drone

Aker BP, DeepOcean and Forssea Robotics have collaborated to develop the underwater Autonomous Inspection Drone (AID).

Autonomous Inspection Drone (Screenshot, Source: Aker BP)

According to Aker, the use of AID allows autonomous surveys to be carried out, to collect data in a smarter way and to gain better support for comparisons and changes over time.

The companies conducted the first offshore full-scale test on subsea templates at Aker BP’s Skarv field, 210 kilometres west of the Norwegian coast in water depths of approximately 400 metres.

The AID is an important stepping stone for further development of this technology, fully autonomous subsea drones that are independent of their mother vessel“, said Terje Hammer Meling, project lead AID at Aker BP.

Rodrigo Castro, ROV product manager at Forssea Robotics added that the AID comprises the most advanced subsea positioning and navigation systems available on the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) market.

However, it is the embedded software developed by Forssea Robotics that brings the most disruptive smart features to transform this standard ROV into a fully autonomous subsea drone”, Castro said.

Saipem and WSense, an Italian start-up, have also been collaborating on developing complex communication networks for subsea drones.

The companies will design and qualify the so-called multi-purpose intelligent nodes to be interfaced to subsea drones engineered and operated by Sonsub, Saipem’s centre of excellence for submarine technology innovation.

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