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The Ultimate Worlds | May 21, 2018

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Maintenance of underwater equipment in the future with robot

Maintenance of underwater equipment in the future with robot
Dr. Yehia Mechref

Intelligent diving robot will in future keys on the sea floor, grab, replace parts and even reap. Still, it’s the future. Initial tests are now available in a salt water pool.

It looks like a large swimming pool . But when you look into the eight -meter-deep pool looks to drive underwater robot through the water and on the ground to inspect a pipeline or control pump systems of an offshore gas – handling system .

The Maritime Exploration hall of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence ( DFKI) in Bremen was officially put into operation on Monday . The centerpiece is the 23 -meter long and 19 meter wide saltwater tanks are tested and developed in the new systems with intelligent diving robots .

“We must first know that our systems are secure ,” said Frank Kirchner , head of the DFKI Robotics Innovation Center. In the next five years they will have the market. The demand for suitable solutions for the control of water systems is large.

Thousands of kilometers of pipelines and submarine cables lie deep on the ocean floor . Vast areas are full of pumps and pipes of oil and gas installations on the high seas . And more and more foundations of offshore wind turbines are anchored under water.

” The aim of the new systems , maintenance and inspection of equipment, no matter where they are located, inexpensive to make and partly at all possible ,” Kirchner said. So should a vehicle leave Avalon called for example pipelines in deepwater autonomous and track with the help of sensors washouts or sand deposits. ” If the pipeline washed away at one point , they can break through ,” explained Kirchner. It can also be compressed.

Has also been developed a deep hand with three fingers. These were equipped with 800 pressure sensor points , Kirchner said. ” We want to touch and feel objects in the deep sea . ” In deeper areas will increasingly set on sensor technology. ” 200 meters under water it is dark, because you have to bring light , and that takes too much energy. ”

The manganese nodule harvest in the Pacific was possible with the help of new technology in the foreseeable future , said the expert. This could reduce raw materials is invasive, and the seabed would not be destroyed as necessary.

Despite all the innovation is a flight recorder but do not let see if the search area could not be determined in detail , Kirchner stressed with regard to the search for the missing aircraft in the Pacific Malaysia Airlines. The search area is too big . ” That would be like watching a shoebox in Germany hide somewhere and say , sit in the car and seek him . ”

Kirchner looks for intelligent underwater robot development opportunities for the next 20 years. So it could also be possible to create an autonomous underwater device that taps or valves can open and close . It would also be conceivable to use a robot permanently stationed on the seabed for the inspection of offshore installations. The operator can then commit any time in the office of the screen its investment virtually, Kirchner said.

Each individual component of a diving robot is tested in a pressurized chamber to 600 bar, in order to be ready for the deep-sea . Initial tests at sea are to run on artificial reef off R├╝gen, and ahead of Brazil on offshore installations , according to the expert in 2015 in the Baltic Sea . “That we be a gradual process . ” (Reuters)