Page 27: of Marine Technology Magazine (April 2019)
Ocean Energy: Oil, Wind & Tidal
at site in ROV mode. All without a vessel. Put simply, it’s a
Upon arrival at site the vehicle transforms from its AUV form factor to its ROV form factor. This transformation is achieved through hull separation. Once the hull separates the vehicles arms activate and the machine is ready to manipulate and inspect its environment. Aquanaut is not just a paper de- sign. It has been built and is undergoing testing now.
One of the biggest advantages of virtual residency is avail- ability. Ultimately, customers require extremely high avail- ability, not reliability. Conventional resident sea? oor systems will require excellence in engineering and will need to be nearly perfect because of the high cost of vessel intervention.
In the virtual residency model, vehicle number four may start a project while vehicle nine may ? nish it. In this scenario we need not achieve perfection in subsea robotics, we need to de- velop an asset network which meets customer required service levels. The vehicle still needs to be reliable – but perfection is not required as operational issues may be overcome by back- ? lling additional assets.
There are many threads of component technology which powers Aquanaut and the concept of virtual residency. These include innovations in acoustic communications, machine vi- sion, local area navigation, and wide area navigation. Thank- fully, the technological revolution we are experiencing in subsea technology is bringing us ever closer to closing the technology gap in all of these domains.
As these component technologies will take some time to mature, we needed to ensure that a lack of advanced tech- nology does not hamper the progress of the virtual residency business model. Like any disruptive business, elements of the
Image: Houston Mechatronics business model will be phased in to enable market success. www.marinetechnologynews.com
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