Thursday, April 18, 2024

Argeo selects Eelume autonomous snake robot for underwater inspection

Norway-based inspection and survey company Argeo AS has selected Eelume’s autonomous ‘snake robot’ to assist in their operations in the first commercial contract to be signed for this innovative technology.

Acquiring the Eelume autonomous robot is said to be part of Argeo’s stated aim to transform the ocean space inspection industry through robotics, sensors, and data analytics technology, enabling more efficient acquisition of data with higher accuracy.

According to Trond Crantz, the company’s CEO, the Eelume technology will enable Argeo to significantly reduce its operational carbon footprint, increase efficiency, reduce the cost related to inspection, light intervention, and monitoring (IMR) of subsea assets and infrastructure. “Currently, 90% of these costs are vessel related. Implementing Eelume as a resident inspection tool for Offshore Wind and Oil & Gas will replace up to 70% of vessel activities,” says Trond Crantz.

Eelume autonomous snake robot structure.
Eelume autonomous snake robot structure. Credit: Eelume Subsea Intervention

This Eelume vehicle is basically a self-propelled, autonomous robotic arm with a slender and flexible body that can transit over long distances and carry out subsea inspection, maintenance, and repair (IMR) in confined spaces not accessible by conventional underwater vehicles. It is well suited to execute inspection and light intervention missions on subsea structures, such as offshore wind farms, fish farms, and oil and gas production facilities and pipelines. The vehicle can also be equipped with various sensors for executing environmental surveys, such as detecting gas leakages, oil in water, salinity, temperature, sound, etc. Eelume underwater robots are engineered to live permanently underwater, where they can be mobilized 24/7 regardless of weather conditions.

According to Argeo, one Eelume robot can typically provide a serviceable footprint of 50-75 square kilometers in operation. The company proposes matching the technology with their Unmanned Surface Vessels (USV), making the Eelume an effective mobile survey solution complete with a deployment and recovery system.