North Sea

Video: Is this lifelike subsea snake the future of North Sea robotics?

Subsea inspections could be carried out by ‘robot snakes’ in the future.

That is according to one robotics firm who have designed a ‘swimming mechanical snake’ to carry out seabed inspection and maintenance work.

Eelume was established in 2015 as a spin-off from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).

The firm then formed a partnership with Kongsberg Maritime and Statoil to ensure the unique concept is packed to the gills with top of the line technology.

Fitted out with cameras, thrusters and lights, the robot can also carry a payload of grabbers, sonar modules, and a variety of tools and probes.

The concept behind the idea is to let these robots do inspection and light intervention jobs on the seabed, reducing the use of large and expensive vessels.

With its snake-like form, the slender and flexible body of the Eelume marine robot provides access to confined areas that are difficult to access with existing technology.

The plan is for Eelume robots to be permanently installed on the seabed to perform planned and on-demand inspections and interventions.

They can 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.

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