A SkySpecs drone during inspection at an offshore wind farm

Fugro Developing Offshore Drone Base for Wind Farm Maintenance

Fugro is developing an offshore platform from which uncrewed vessels and drones can perform inspection and maintenance operations on offshore wind farms.

Illustration; Photo source: SkySpecs

Together with three partner companies and a research institute, Fugro has been granted EUR 3.3 million for the RoboDock project by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO).

The RoboDock platform enables various uncrewed vessels and drones to carry out inspection and maintenance tasks above and below sea surface, and serves as a recharge station for drones. The platform also provides communication with the shore and a place for monitoring safety and the environment around a wind farm.

“RoboDock is a cutting-edge technological innovation that will allow the offshore wind industry to accelerate the adoption of remote and autonomous solutions by creating an uncrewed platform which can effectively ‘oversee’ remote inspections”, said Ivar de Josselin de Jong, director for Remote Inspection at Fugro. “Removing human workers from extreme environments de-risks offshore operations and provides a scalable solution to support this ever-expanding industry as we transition to a safer and more liveable world”.

The project was granted funding at the beginning of February, when RVO also awarded EUR 4 million to support the SIMOX research project, which is exploring sustainable installation and decommissioning of XXL monopiles for offshore wind.