INESC TEC and EDP have launched a project that will see the establishment of the first real-time maritime robot testing center for offshore wind in Europe.
The initiative is part of the Atlantis – The Atlantic Testing Platform for Maritime Robotics: New Frontiers for Inspection and Maintenance of Offshore Energy Infrastructures project, which has the aim to reinforce the development of monitoring and maintenance technologies for offshore wind infrastructures.
The Atlantis Test Center will be set up on the coast of Viana do Castelo in Portugal and will use the WindFloat Atlantic project to validate and demonstrate robotic applications developed by research centers or technological companies.
The center is expected to enable the validation of robotic solutions in the most extreme weather conditions of the Atlantic Ocean, especially for the inspection and maintenance of offshore wind infrastructure.
EDP, through the EDP NEW Center for New Energy Technologies and in collaboration with Principle Power, leads the offshore demonstration component and invests in the project.
The three-year project has a total investment of EUR 8.5 million financed by the H2020 – Framework Program for Research and Innovation.
It will focus on the inspection, maintenance and repair of offshore wind infrastructures, where a number of autonomous robots will be developed and tested in various industrial scenarios, such as the inspection of mooring lines, the monitoring underwater structures and turbine cleaning.
“Atlantis Test Center will enable us to quantify the added value of new robotic technology and accelerate our integration into the maritime wind power industry. The project is based on a true symbiosis between the energy and maritime robotics industries,” said Andry Maykol Pinto, Project Coordinator and Researcher at INESC TEC.
“The Atlantis Test Center will be an excellent opportunity for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to develop technologies that enhance the sustainability of the maritime wind sector, as they will be able to experimentally evaluate their products and tailor their offerings to the needs and expectations of an emerging market.”
In addition to INESC TEC and EDP, the consortium partners include Teknologian Tutkimuskeskus VTT and ABB OY from Finland, Principle Power and ECA Robotics from France, the Belgian Space Application Services NV, Spain’s IQUA Robotics and Universitat de Girona, and RINA Consulting SPA from Italy.