INESC TEC Chooses Reach Robotics Manipulator for Offshore Energy O&M Research

INESC TEC is a private, non-profit organisation specializing in research and development (R&D) within science and technology sectors as well as consulting, training, and developing emerging tech-centric companies. Operating at the intersection of business and academia, INESC TEC applies research and knowledge acquired throughout its various undertakings in technology transfer projects. 

As part of their continuing R&D efforts, INESC TEC developed the ATLANTIS project, a test-platform initiative for maritime robotics in the Atlantic Ocean. The project is geared specifically towards applying robotics and autonomous systems at offshore wind farms. This application aims to ‘reduce the levelised cost of energy (LCOE) by minimising expenses associated with human-diver lead operation and maintenance (O&M) activities. These expenses include requirements for skilled operators, specialty vessels, sensor technology and complications regarding underwater access. 

The ATLANTIS infrastructure will overcome these concerns by establishing a real-world subsea environment to substantiate key robotic capabilities for O&M tasks at offshore structures.  

To develop their research INESC, TEC selected Reach Robotics’s ‘Reach Bravo 7’ manipulator, noting its dexterity, rugged build, and durability in underwater environments. In their own words;   

“Bravo 7 was used in realistic underwater manipulation conditions to distinguish the performance of multiple planners for particular movement conditions contributing to the inspection of maritime structures.” 

Furthermore, INESC TEC seeks to enhance autonomous underwater vehicles’ manipulation capability (AUVs) during close-range operations using the Bravo 7 robotic arm.  

With innovative vision and control systems, The Bravo 7 breaks down previous limitations of ROVs by offering advanced manipulation, inspection, and intervention capability. Our robotic manipulator technology minimizes the need for specialist divers during maintenance activities and reduces operator training requirements with intuitive control options available. Furthermore, the Reach Bravo range allows third-party sensors and measurement tools to be affixed at the end-effector, offering limitless configuration opportunities.  

Reach Robotics is proud to work with INESC TEC, applying advanced robotic solutions to technically challenging operations in complex environments. The pioneering ATLANTIS project and autonomous systems research using our manipulators will change the future of O&M for maritime structures where performance and safety is critical. 

The INESC TEC team working on ATLANTIS
The INESC TEC team working on ATLANTIS
Bravo 7 in action
The Reach Bravo 7 Manipulator in action during a test in a controlled tank environment

Bravo 7 is ready to be submerged!

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