Avitas, Kraken team up for subsea robotic inspection

Avitas Systems, a GE Venture, has entered into a strategic partnership with Kraken Robotics to create an integrated subsea inspection solution for the oil and gas, offshore renewable energy, and shipping industries.

GE said on Thursday that the solution would integrate autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), acoustic and laser sensor technology, and artificial intelligence-based navigation software.

According to the company, Avitas Systems will be able to complete subsea inspection with reduced cost and time and operational footprint.

Kraken Robotics brings to the partnership a broad range of AUV technologies, such as sensors, pressure tolerant batteries, thrusters, and control electronics. Avitas Systems will integrate these technologies into an autonomous subsea inspection system.

The data from inspections will be uploaded into a platform that includes robust data ingestion, automatic defect recognition, predictive analytics, and a cloud-based visualization portal for oil and gas and offshore energy customers.

GE added that the partnership expands capabilities for inspections of ship and FPSO hulls, underwater production fields, subsea pipelines and cables, and offshore wind farm assets.

Kraken’s SeaVision sensor, which can flexibly attach to AUVs and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), combines laser scanning and camera imaging to provide more detailed data for inspectors and operators. The sensor’s laser imagery detects and characterizes corrosion, cracks, marine growth, and other defects.

The laser scanning process can be repeated thousands of times per second to generate coordinate values for millions of points on a surface. These points then become highly accurate and intricate 3D models of subsea infrastructure.

Avitas Systems will also use sonar technology and navigational software from Kraken Robotics to optimize robots’ abilities to follow supervisory commands, track pipeline or subsea field positioning with AI-powered swim paths, and identify priority areas for inspection.

The high-resolution images of assets’ surface contours can be inputted into the Avitas Systems cloud-based platform, where advanced algorithms fuse multiple sensor data, perform image analytics, and predict actionable outcomes in real-time.

Brad Tomer, VP of operations at Avitas Systems, said: “Bridging Kraken’s cost-effective technologies with our autonomy, state-of-the-art platform, and domain knowledge allows us to commercialize efficient solutions tailored to the oil and gas industry’s specific needs.”

Karl Kenny, Kraken’s president and CEO, added: “Integrating our technologies with Avitas Systems will overall enhance subsea asset management and provide significantly improved safety, higher operating efficiencies, and reduced costs for operators.”

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