Subsea maintenance: Kongsberg, Statoil and Eelume collaborate on snake-like swimming robots
Kongsberg Maritime and Statoil have signed an agreement with NTNU spin-off company Eelume to accelerate new technology, reducing costs related to subsea inspection, maintenance and repair operations, collaborating to develop swimming robots for subsea inspection and light intervention, Kongsberg has advised.
Kongsberg stated that “a disruptive solution for underwater inspection and maintenance in the form of a swimming robot” is being developed by Eelume.
“The idea is to let these robots do inspection and light intervention jobs on the seabed, reducing the use of large and expensive vessels,” Kongsberg stated. “With its snake-like form, the slender and flexible body of the Eelume robot provides access to confined areas that are difficult to access with existing technology.
“Eelume robots will be permanently installed on the seabed and will perform planned and on-demand inspections and interventions. The solution can be installed on both existing and new fields, where typical jobs include: visual inspection, cleaning, and adjusting valves and chokes. These jobs account for a large part of the total subsea inspection and intervention spend.”
Pål Liljebäck, Eelume CTO, stated that “Eelume is the first company in the world to bring these amazing robots into an industrial setting”.
“Now we take the step from academia and into the commercial world to secure our place in the new and exciting subsea intervention landscape,” Liljebäck commented.
Bjørn Jalving, Kongsberg Maritime Executive Vice President Subsea Division, stated that the “partnership offers the chance to bring radical technology to the market, not just in what the Eelume robot can do, but how it does it”.
“It is a new tool that will enable operators to realise large-scale cost savings by introducing new ways of conducting routine tasks and helping prevent unscheduled shut-downs by reacting instantly when required,” Jalving commented.