Autonomous Robotic Inspection and Maintenance on Ship Hulls and Storage Tanks

Concept of the project

BUGWRIGHT2 is a H2020 European project, started in January 2020, completed in March 2024, coordinated by Prof. Cédric Pradalier. 

The objective of BUGWRIGHT2 is to bridge the gap between the current and desired capabilities of ship inspection and service robots by developing and demonstrating an adaptable autonomous robotic solution for servicing ship outer hulls. By combining the survey capabilities of autonomous Micro Air Vehicles (MAV) and small Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV), with teams of magnetic-wheeled crawlers operating directly on the surface of the structure, the project inspection and cleaning system will be able to seamlessly merge the acquisition of a global overview of the structure with performing a detailed multi-robot visual and acoustic inspection of the structure, detecting corrosion patches or cleaning the surface as necessary – all of this with minimal user intervention.

The detailed information provided will be integrated into a real-time visualization and decision-support user-interface taking advantage of virtual reality technologies. Although ships are the targeted application, BUGWRIGHT2 technology may be easily adapted to different structures assembled out of metal plates, and in particular to storage tanks, our secondary application domain.

The project consists of a large consortium bringing together not only the technological knowledge from academia but the complete value chain of the inspection robotic market: two SMEs, one class society to evaluate the use of these technologies in the certification processes, a marine service provider and two harbors to provide access to ships, one shipyard to deploy the system within a maintenance framework and two ship-owners. In addition, specialists in maritime laws and workplace psychologists will ensure that the digitalisation of this market sector is designed around user acceptance. Finally, a specialist in innovation will lead the dissemination and exploitation activities.

More information on the website: http://www.bugwright2.eu/

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