University of Limerick (UL) has unveiled EUR 2 million underwater robot at the docks in Limerick city.
The remotely operated vehicle (ROV) was launched by Pat Breen, Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection.
The Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) funded ROV Étaín can operate in wind, wave, and tidal conditions and will be used to inspect, repair and maintain Marine Renewable Energy (MRE) facilities, UL informed.
Researchers at UL’s Centre for Robotics and Intelligence Systems (CRIS) have enhanced a commercially available ROV system, Forum’s Comanche ROV, with UL-developed advanced control software OceanRings, precision navigation and flight control, robotic imaging and sonar systems and fully automated manipulator systems, to allow the robot to support inspection, repair and maintenance operations.
Professor Daniel Toal, director of the Centre for Robotics and Intelligence Systems at UL, said: “Operation support in the MRE sector usually occurs on floating infrastructures so conditions are regularly beyond the capability and operating limits of commercial ROV technology. This means new smart ROV systems capability is necessary and that is what our team at UL has developed and launched today.”
UL’s Centre for Robotics and Intelligence Systems is part of the University College Cork led SFI national Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI).