Greek team produce prototype robot crawler for deployment of equipment for inspection of underwater structure.
Zenon, a Robotics manufacturer and developer based in Athens, Greece, has developed a new prototype robot crawler for deployment of the inspection technology on man made underwater structure. Specifically the robot has been developed to crawl along the external surface of flexible risers. It moves along and around the riser using an inch-worm type motion. Novel under-actuated end effectors have been conceived and developed to hold the robot on the riser without damaging the outer polymer layer of the flexible riser surface. The robot crawler prototype is currently capable and has been successfully tested for 20m sea depth operation. It is expected that a commercialised product will be capable of operating at a much greater depth.
Zenon is part of a collaboration (known as FlexiRiserTest) comprising European Union companies and research organisations all contributing to produce a novel inspection system for the inspection of flexible risers.
The work is the result of a two-year European Framework 6 project shared between 9 organisations. The team involved in the prototype robot crawler development, has now formed a branch out company, named Innora ltd (www.innora.gr)
The partnership plan to exploit the knowledge they have gained through the collaboration and are seeking new partners to help develop the prototypes further.