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Kraken Robotics Teams with GE’s Avitas to Offer Subsea Robotic Inspection

30 October 2017

Kraken Robotics Inc. (St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada) has announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Kraken Robotic Systems Inc., is partnering with Avitas Systems, a GE Venture, to advance robotic inspections for the oil and gas, offshore renewable energy, and shipping industries.

Avitas Systems will integrate Kraken’s autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), acoustic and laser sensor technology, and artificial intelligence-based navigation software into its subsea inspection solutions. The partnership expands capabilities for inspections of, for example, offshore wind farm assets.

Routine subsea inspections can be slow and costly and often include manual visual inspection with large margins of error. Utilizing enhanced imaging technology and inspection solutions will improve the jobs of inspectors and increase safety, accuracy, speed, cost efficiency and asset longevity. Avitas Systems will be able to complete subsea inspection with reduced cost, time, and operational footprint.

Kraken’s SeaVision sensor, which can attach to AUVs, combines laser scanning and optical imaging to provide detailed data. The sensor’s colorized laser imagery detects and characterizes corrosion, cracks, marine growth and other defects. The laser scanning process can be repeated thousands of times per second to generate coordinate values for millions of points on a surface. Data from inspections will be uploaded into a state-of-the-art platform that includes robust data ingestion, automatic defect recognition, predictive analytics and a cloud-based visualization portal for oil, gas, and offshore energy customers.

Across industries, Avitas Systems provides autonomous inspection with robots that can target specific points on industrial assets and follow precise paths from digitized 3D models. The paths’ repeatability enables artificial intelligence-based change detection and automated defect recognition for smarter inspection scheduling based on anticipated risk. Early detection and resolution of potential industrial issues means safer, more reliable operations and enhanced asset integrity. Working with Kraken Robotics, Avitas Systems will now be able to apply this process to underwater inspections.

Avitas Systems will also use sonar technology and navigational software from Kraken Robotics to optimize robots’ abilities to follow supervisory commands, track pipeline or subsea field positioning with AI-powered swim paths and identify priority areas for inspection. Kraken’s AquaPix® Synthetic Aperture Sonar technology will specifically enable 3D volumetric imaging, particularly useful for buried pipeline inspection and broader seafloor viewing.

To contact the author of this article, email sue.himmelstein@ieeeglobalspec.com


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