Subsea technology company Rovco has secured Innovate UK funding to develop a 3D visualisation system as part of an Artificial Intelligence (AI) demonstrator project potentially worth GBP 1 million.
Once trialled and tested, Rovco believes the technology could revolutionise the way energy companies manage and inspect their subsea assets, potentially saving hundreds of millions of pounds in offshore inspection costs each year.
In partnership with ORE Catapult, the first phase of the project will see Rovco develop the equipment and software required to produce live 3D data from challenging and extreme subsea environments.
ORE Catapult will allow the technology to be trialled and tested at its renewable energy test facility in Blyth, UK, and will assist in the delivery of project outputs to end users.
Phase two will include the development of a complete 3D vision-based survey solution using AI, which could reduce offshore inspection costs by up to 80%, exploiting recent advances in both camera technology and embedded graphic processing, while utilising small, intelligent, autonomous robotic vehicles.
Rovco Chief Executive and Founder, Brian Allen, said: “Compared to traditional visual survey methods, 3D delivers precise measurements and reliable metrics for asset condition monitoring. Combining this with the use of AI to better analyse and understand subsea data, enhances asset integrity decisions and reduces the manpower required, while also speeding up project turnaround times.”
The first phase of the project will be 70% supported by Innovate UK, with the remaining 30% funded by Rovco.
The planned phase two is expected to be further backed by Innovate UK once technical feasibility is proven, which will see Rovco partner with an autonomous vehicle manufacturer and other subsea companies.