Coming to a rig near you...Statoil, Kongsberg and Eelume unveil sea-snake robot
Kongsberg Maritime and Statoil have signed an agreement with Eelume, to develop swimming snake-like robots for subsea inspection, repair and maintenance (IRM).
Eelume, a Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) spin-off, has been developing the technology with partner Sintef for over a decade.
The snake-like, flexible form of the robot, allows access to confined areas that are difficult to access with existing technology. the group suggests that these would be permanently installed on the seabed and perform planned and on-demand inspections and interventions.
The solution can be installed on both existing and new fields where typical jobs include; visual inspection, cleaning, and adjusting valves and chokes – jobs which represent the majority of the costs of inspection and intervention.
The strength of the collaboration lies in the unique contributions from each of the parties. Eelume is founded by top academics from NTNU, Kongsberg Maritime brings in 25 years of experience and technology development within marine robotics and Statoil provides access to real installations for testing and qualification. The combined efforts now include an exciting mix of entrepreneurial spirit, industrial competence, technology and a demanding end-customer. The result is a very robust development process from idea to market.
"With our unique expertise in the field of snake robotics Eelume is the first company in the world to bring these amazing robots into an industrial setting. Now we take the step from academia and into the commercial world to secure our place in the new and exciting subsea intervention landscape", says Pål Liljebäck CTO Eelume.
This is a perfect example of how NTNU AMOS can contribute to bringing research based innovations into the market place through new spin-off companies and cooperation with leading industry players. Eelume is already the 5th spin-off company from researchers at NTNU AMOS and the third since 2013. SFF NTNU AMOS is strongly supported by the NTNU management, the Norwegian Research Council, Statoil, DNV GL and SINTEF Group." Says Asgeir J. Sørensen, Director, NTNU AMOS, Centre for Autonomous Marine Operations and Systems.