ROV Etain

UL remote operated vehicle takes first official dive

Cathal O’Donnell, University of of Limerick CRIS

23 April 2018

Researchers from University of Limerick unveiled a €2 million remotely operarated vehicle (ROV) at the docks in Limerick city today.

The Science Foundation Ireland-funded ROV Etain can operate in challenging wind, wave, and tidal conditions and will be used to inspect, repair and maintain marine renewable energy facilities.

Researchers at UL’s Centre for Robotics & Intelligence Systems have enhanced a commercially available ROV system with locally developed advanced control software, precision navigation and flight control, state-of-the-art robotic imaging and sonar systems, and fully automated manipulator systems.

These advanced features allow the robot to operate in the challenging environment of ocean renewable energy to support inspection, repair and maintenance operations.

Prof Daniel Toal, Director of the Centre for Robotics & Intelligence Systems, UL, said: “Operation support in the MRE sector usually occurs on floating infrastructures so conditions are regularly beyond the capability and operating limits of commercial ROV technology. This means new smart ROV systems capability is necessary and that is what our team at UL has developed and launched today.”

UL’s Centre for Robotics and Intelligence Systems is part of the University College Cork led SFI national Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy Ireland.

The MaREI robotics lab at UL leads operations support engineering projects with industry partners such as Shannon Foynes Port Company, ESB, Ireland’s National Space Centre, SonarSim, Teledyne, Resolve Marine, CIL, IDS Monitoring and among others.

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