UK Company Introduces Robotic Ecosystem for Offshore Wind Farm Inspections – Video
Marshall Futureworx, the venture building and advanced technologies arm of Marshall of Cambridge, has unveiled plans to provide offshore wind farm inspection services using a resident robotic ecosystem.
Lilypad is an ecosystem of multiple autonomous BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) which utilise artificial intelligence and navigational sensors to provide dynamic and on-demand offshore inspection services, Marshall Futureworx said.
The UAVs are deployed from dedicated offshore charging stations and monitored by a single remote pilot stationed in an onshore command and control centre. Inspection data and reports are then transmitted back to the wind farm operators, which is said to enable faster, more frequent, reliable, and predictive maintenance scheduling and more effective utilisation of assets.
According to Marshall Futureworx, Lilypad reduces the requirement for offshore personnel undertaking inspections, minimising both cost and impact on the environment. At the same time, the improved frequency and quality of intelligence operators gain through Lilypad’s remote inspections is expected to enable them to significantly increase wind turbine up time and extend their overall lifecycle.
”The ever increasing demand for secure and renewable energy to power our communities has resulted in the surging need for innovative solutions to enable the installation and support of offshore wind infrastructure, right from initial construction and through the life of projects,” Marshall Futureworx Managing Director, Kieren Paterson, said.
”Lilypad uses permanently resident autonomous UAVs to provide on-demand and scheduled inspections timed to minimise the economic impact on windfarm operations. Lilypad decouples the cost of inspection from sea state, distance from shore and seasonal considerations and eliminates the need for offshore personnel during inspections.”
The announcement from Futureworx follows on from the signing of a memorandum of understanding in 2022 with ISS Aerospace, who, according to the company, offer best-in-class industrial UAVs, and sees.ai, a provider of AI drone guidance and control software.
”ISS Aerospace is delighted to have been appointed by Marshall Futureworx to provide a derivative of our Sensus ML8-XP UAV for the Lilypad ecosystem. The Sensus family of UAVs has seen considerable buy-in from our defence, security and energy clients and seen operations worldwide. ISS provides highly innovative, customer requirement focused solutions which deliver on-board multi-modal sensor integration to deliver intelligence solutions at the highest tempo,” said Ryan Kempley, ISS Aerospace CEO.
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