Argus led by Autonomous Devices

Project partner: Lloyds’ Register

Future Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS) will require a completely new approach to vessel design and certification. Savings inherent in removing an onboard human presence will be offset by the need to automate, monitor, control and maintain systems which currently rely exclusively on onboard monitoring and intervention by a human crew.

This implies a large overhead in terms of sensing, actuation and remote monitoring hardware. Argus is a flexible robotic telepresence capable of undertaking challenging inspection and monitoring tasks, so minimising this overhead. With the benefit of support from Maritime Research and Innovation UK, and collaboration with Lloyd’s Register, Autonomous Devices has been able to demonstrate a core capability envisaged for Argus, namely the ability to obtain sensor measurements from geometrically challenging and hard-to-access parts of a ship’s structure, with a very high degree of automation ultimately suitable for long range teleoperation.

In the short term, this technology can reduce the need for costly, time consuming and relatively higher risk practices such as using cherry pickers, scaffolding, rope access and rafting for contact-based Non Destructive Inspection. It has potential to reduce the number of personnel required for surveys, whilst improving repeatability.

In the longer term, the technical elements developed within this work could be further matured towards a long range robotic telepresence on future MASS.

Armed with the results of the project, and the ability to repeat the Argus demonstration to stakeholders and potential partners as required, Autonomous Devices is now well placed to further mature and commercialise this technology.

Argus Final Report


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