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Robotic technologies validation for ship inspection

ESTECHInformatica Tsd EnRemote inspectionsRobotic technologiesShipbuildingTest devicesValidation protocols

Introduction

The use of robotic technologies in ship inspections could lead to a significant reduction in costs, timing and problems related to the safety of the workplace. However, the application of autonomous systems in this field is still severely limited, both on a technological and regulatory level. It is necessary to demonstrate the effectiveness of these technologies in the field to support the human surveyor.

Technical features

There are currently no assessment methods available to verify the effectiveness of a ship inspection carried out using robotic technologies, checking that survey outcomes are at the same quality level of those commonly attainable by a human surveyor.
Therefore, according to current regulations and traditional inspection techniques, validation methodologies based on the development of test equipment and protocols have been defined, aimed at verifying both the effectiveness of a robotic technology and of the involved personnel.
As an innovative and pragmatic solution, it is proposed to experimentally test these technologies in a dedicated test environment, more economical and available than a ship, though able to simulate the reality on board in a controlled and repeatable way. Modular test equipment and protocols allow varying the parameters according to the needs and robotic technologies to be examined, by using different operating stations in which it is possible to simulate the actual conditions of a survey, detecting the degradation of the structure due to corrosion phenomena, fracture and mechanical damage.

Possible Applications

  • Shipbuilding engineering;
  • Welded structures;
  • Ship surveys and management;
  • Applied robotic engineering and technologies;
  • Training of inspection personnel.

Advantages

  • Simple and inexpensive method for verifying and validating the use of robotic technologies for ship inspections;
  • Training centre for surveyors and pilots;
  • Meeting place for the interaction and collaboration of different technology sectors, where to develop new knowledge and set rule requirements.