Autonomous and Collaborative Offshore Robotics (aCOLOR)


Tampere University of Technology and TAMK, Kari T. Koskinen


Autonomous robotics help industries working offshore

Autonomous robotic systems are becoming increasingly important in many industries. Many different industries include work and tasks that could be done faster and more safely without any human interaction. These tasks vary from underwater mining and maritime to borderline guarding.

Tampere University of Technology and Tampere University of Applied Sciences are creating a multi-component offshore robotic system. The system is being developed in the Laboratory of Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Systems.

Offshore inspections and many other offshore operations still remain very labor intensive and expensive activities, typically requiring at least support surface vessels being manned. In this research one of the most important innovations is that all the vessels can function without any human interaction. It makes processes not only more efficient but also safer and more reliable.

The new autonomous robotic system is also groundbreaking because it combines all three elements: air, underwater and surface. The autonomous system includes an aerial vehicle, an underwater vehicle and a supporting surface vessel. The surface vessel is unmanned and can be used as an autonomous launch and recovery platform. The aerial and underwater vehicles can load their batteries at the vessel. The surface vessel also gathers data and pre-processes it. The data can immediately be uploaded to a cloud storage for further analysis and later use.

The research will focus on developing methodology and principles for structural and mechatronic system design, sensing, perception, data collection, communication, task planning and augmented shared intelligence. The ultimate goal of the project is to create an open demonstration in a real working environment. Then it can be seen how the whole system works.

In the future the autonomous robotic system could benefit many industries all over the world. The system can be applied in seas and lakes. Main beneficiaries are maritime and offshore industries such as oil and gas, offshore renewable energy, autonomous shipping and underwater mining. The autonomous robotic system not only opens possibilities for improvements in current operations but also enables new services and earning possibilities.


The team:

Prof. Kari T. Koskinen, TUT
Dr. Jussi Aaltonen, TUT
Dr. Markus Aho, TAMK
Doctoral Student Jose Villa Escusol, TUT
Prof. Moncef Gabbouj, TUT
Prof. Mikko Valkama, TUT