Photo: Land-based tests on STL’s pioneering robotic arm. Photo credit: Submarine Technology Ltd.

Marine-i Backs STL’s Robotic Arm for Marine Ops Project

Marine-i, the EU funded programme set up to boost marine innovation in Cornwall, has made a grant award to specialist marine technology company, Submarine Technology Ltd (STL).

Based in Cowes on the Isle of Wight, STL have opened a new office in Penryn, Cornwall, to focus on designing and building their futuristic robotic arm.

The arm is a ship-based multi-axis robotic arm for autonomous operations. It will form an integral part of a new Autonomous Synchronised Stabilised Platform (ASSP) to enable intervention tasks to be carried from Autonomous Surface Vessels (ASV).

Typical intervention tasks will include equipment transfer and payload management, survey and inspection, launch and recovery. In the future, ASVs will play an important role in the inspection, servicing and repair of offshore wind farms and other renewable energy technologies.

STL’s managing director, David Kirkley, says:

We are delighted to receive this grant award from Marine-I so that we can develop our technology to the next stage. We already have a system to transfer people or equipment from a dynamic platform to a fixed platform. The ASSP is more complicated as it requires synchronous stabilisation between two moving platforms, for instance between an autonomous vessel and a floating wind turbine or wave-energy converter. We are excited about opening a new office in the Tremough Innovation Centre at Penryn. It allows us to take advantage of the excellent resources and supply chain available in Cornwall. Already we have an excellent working partnership with two Falmouth-based companies and more will follow.”

STL has been working closely with Marine-i partner, the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult. Their Sector Lead on Wave and Tidal Energy, Simon Cheeseman, says:

This is a superb opportunity for Cornwall to be at the forefront of an important new field in marine technology. The safe and reliable transfer of cargo between autonomous ships and moving platforms and other intervention tasks will be critical in supporting operations in the offshore wind farm industry. This technology has the potential to reach a massive worldwide market. With help from Marine-i, the team at STL will accelerate the development of their pioneering innovation.”

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