Thursday, April 18, 2024

Hydromea’s EXRAY underwater inspection robot received DNV class approval

Remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROVs) – the robots that complete functions underwater on behalf of a crew located on the surface – are trying to keep up with the technology. They are indeed becoming more and more feature-rich and sophisticated. But there is still room for improvement in how we operate them.

ROVs currently have to remain tethered to the surface via communications cables that provide both electrical powers and allow the transfer of data between the vessel and the ROV to be transmitted. However, these tethered vehicles are inconvenient, as, in many cases, the cables are long and heavy. Such is not the case with EXRAY, the first-ever tether-less underwater drone specially built for infrastructure-rich confined flooded spaces.

Developed by a Swiss startup Hydromea, the state-of-the-art underwater inspection robot eliminates the cable from the equation. Instead, it uses the company’s Luma underwater communications system that uses rapid pulses of 470-nanometer LED light to transmit binary data – at a rate of 10 megabits per second – through the water.

Hydromea, in collaboration with a Scotland-based certified remote inspection technology expert, Air Control Entech (ACE), has now received class approval from DNV for Hydromea’s EXRAY underwater inspection robot for Visual Remote Inspection Technology (RIT). The achievement paves the way for certified inspections of flooded spaces at offshore floating platforms, revolutionizing the inspection process and ensuring enhanced safety and efficiency in the offshore energy industry.

Thanks to its compact size, high maneuverability, and real-time data transmission capabilities, EXRAY underwater robot is set to transform the way inspections are conducted, allowing for swift and accurate assessments of flooded spaces.

“We are thrilled that our partner ACE received the successful class approval of EXRAY by DNV,” said Mr. Igor Martin, CEO of Hydromea. “This achievement underscores the immense potential of our underwater inspection robot to revolutionize the industry’s approach to offshore inspections and keep people safe, away from dangerous jobs offshore. With ACE’s expertise in offshore surveys and DNV’s stamp of approval, we are confident that EXRAY will set new benchmarks in terms of safety, efficiency, and environmental responsibility.”

The approval received from DNV will now allow ACE to offer its clients certified inspections of flooded spaces at offshore floating platforms, ensuring compliance with industry regulations and enhancing operational integrity.

The ACE and Hydromea collaboration and class approval from DNV mark a breakthrough in the field of underwater inspections. The Hydromea EXRAY robot’s ability to collect real-time data in hazardous and challenging environments will improve the accuracy of inspections, reduce downtime, and enhance overall operational efficiency in the offshore energy sector.

Recently, Hydromea partnered with Unplugged, a Norwegian leader in inductive charging and data transfer technology, to develop a resident underwater drone system to continuously inspect and monitor underwater assets.