Shell and Nauticus join hands for autonomous subsea ops
Nauticus Robotics has entered into an agreement with oil major Shell to advance to the qualification phase for a more efficient means of acquiring subsea integrity data using the Aquanaut and Hydronaut robotic platforms.
The collaboration is expected to enable Shell to add an advanced tool to its subsea asset integrity management lineup with the potential to improve subsea operations.
Shell and Nauticus plan to collaborate with industry-leading inspection tooling service providers, leveraging their expertise and technology to fully integrate into Nauticus’ robotic service solution.
An initial feasibility study for the phase-gated project was recently completed and the team now moves onto the operational qualification phase, which focuses on remote operations of the robotic duo using supervised autonomy and tool control using Nauticus’ acoustic communication networking technology.
The collaboration is targeting the preliminary work required for an offshore pilot project.
“An exciting aspect of this project is the opportunity to combine the strengths of advanced inspection tooling with the advanced marine robotic capabilities developed by Nauticus Robotics,” said Ross Doak, deepwater robotics engineer at Shell.
“This project aims to fundamentally improve how we collect subsea facility data, through the combination of ‘AUV native’ tooling design, supervised autonomy, and recent improvements in remote communications.”
The autonomous surface vessel (ASV) Hydronaut supports the launch, recovery and real-time operations of Aquanaut, its undersea robotic counterpart.
The 18-meter vessel ferries Aquanaut, the fully electric, free-swimming subsea robot, to and from the worksite and supports battery recharges as well as the communications link from the local remote operations center for supervised autonomous operations.
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