VIDEO: FlatFish AUV Demonstrated in Brazil

FlatFish, the autonomous underwater vehicle developed by BG Brasil and SENAI Cimatec, was demonstrated to the public for the first time on December 4, in Salvador, Bahia.

With a total investment of R$30 million from BG Brasil, SENAI Cimatec, the Brazilian Company for Industrial Research and Innovation (EMBRAPII) and the National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP), the prototype will be used for 3D visual inspection in high resolution, contributing to oil and gas exploration in deep waters, reducing operating costs and ensuring greater operational and environmental safety, BG Group wrote.

The ceremony was attended by the General-Director of ANP, Magda Chambriard; the Secretary of Science, Technology and Innovation in Bahia, Manoel Mendonça; and the British Consul General in Rio de Janeiro, Jonathan Dunn, in addition to representatives of the project’s partner companies.

“The technology that was developed for FlatFish is set to play an essential part of the future of Brazilian and worldwide offshore sector. The project is part of a significant programme of research, development and innovation that BG Brasil is helping deliver and we believe it will bring lasting results for the oil and gas sector,” said Nelson Silva, CEO BG South America.

“FlatFish is a strategic project for SENAI Cimatec. Besides its technological challenges, it represents the collaboration of BIR – Brazilian Institute of Robotics, part of Cimatec campus, which focuses on P,D&I in autonomous robotics. I also highlight the strategic partnership with DFKI – German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence, a key partner in this project, placing SENAI Cimatec as one of the leading research centers in robotics in the country,” said the Director of Technology and Innovation at SENAI Cimatec, Leone Andrade.

“EMBRAPII welcomes with great pleasure the outcome of this project in partnership with BG Brasil. The new robot means extraordinary technological evolution with risks reduction to workers operating in deep water and more environmental protection. We are certain that this is only the beginning of many other partnerships that will develop with BG Brasil and Cimatec,” said the EMBRAPII CEO, Jorge Guimarães.

FlatFish will reside in an underwater station. The operator will be able to initiate the inspection mission remotely from the surface. While the robot can be controlled, it is envisaged that typically FlatFish will plan and execute the mission autonomously, leaving the station, collecting data and sending the information to the operator on the surface, BG Group explained.

“The FlatFish offshore trials, here in Bahia, are a key milestone in the development of a new underwater inspection technology. As well as improving subsea integrity assurance, it is estimated that the costs of such operations could be reduced to 30% to 50% by eliminating the need for an expert and support vessels,” said Adam Hillier, BG Group CTO.