Kawasaki to trial AUV-deployed tool for pipeline inspection
The Underwater Centre has signed an agreement with Kawasaki Heavy Industries to perform a verification test of a prototype AUV with a robot arm for subsea pipeline inspection.
FORT WILLIAM, UK – The Underwater Centre in western Scotland has signed an agreement with Japan’s Kawasaki Heavy Industries to perform a verification test of a prototype AUV with a robot arm for subsea pipeline inspection.
The test is scheduled for October at the center’s headquarters on the shore of Loch Linnhe.
Last November, Kawasaki completed a 15-day verification test, also at the center, for automated underwater docking of a prototype AUV to its charging station, involving contactless charging and large-capacity optical communication.
Currently the company is developing an AUV capable of underwater charging and transferring of inspection data to the mother ship – both of which allow for longer deployments – while autonomously locating and tracking pipelines at close range, including those buried beneath seabed sediment.
For the October test on the prototype AUV with an attached inspection tool unit, the aim is to achieve autonomous location and tracking of subsea pipelines.
The focus will be on verifying the robot arm’s capability to absorb the movement of the AUV induced by tidal currents, and that the inspection tool unit can continuously track a pipeline under those conditions.