In December 2016, the Norwegian underwater robotics company Eelume successfully built and demonstrated the world’s first snake-like underwater robot, constructed for offshore operations.
Image from Eelume.
The testing took place in deep waters of Trondheimsfjorden, and at the PREZIOSO Linjebygg Subsea Test Center in Trondheim. The purpose of the testing was to verify and demonstrate the features of Eelume's snake-like underwater robot in a deepwater, marine environment.
Eelume says that their vehicle has superior maneuverability, is a stable sensor and actuator platform, and has easy access to constrained areas not accessible by conventional underwater vehicles. In addition, the vehicle represents a versatile platform for various kinds of underwater operations, and will in the future be equipped with several types of sensors and tools needed to fulfill its mission.
An important application of the robot is to carry out inspection and light intervention jobs on subsea installations, the company said.
Eelume robots will be permanently installed on the seabed being ready 24/7 for planned and on demand inspections and interventions. This solution aims to save costs by reducing the use of expensive surface vessels, which are needed to support such operations today.
Eelume vehicles can be installed on both existing and new fields where typical jobs include; visual inspection, cleaning, and operating valves and chokes. These jobs account for a large part of the total subsea inspection and intervention spend.
Eelume is sourced from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), and has teamed up with NTNU Technology Transfer Office, Kongsberg Maritime, and Statoil.