Students of Gdańsk University of Technology, Marcin Skibowski and Robert Przystalski, within their diploma thesis, have designed and built a prototype of an underwater inspection robot named STIUART. Thanks to the installed camera, the remote controlled vehicle is able to broadcast video. The project was possible thanks to Enamor’s financial support and presented during exhibition that was a part of this year’s Gdynia Maritime Economy Forum (Forum Gospodarki Morskiej).
The mobile underwater inspection robot, created by seminarists of Associate Professor PhD. Jarosław Gruziński, solves problem of inspection automation of underwater electrical installations and ships’ hulls (with particular emphasis on the underwater parts of propulsion machinery and sensors installed on the hull). The robot is controlled via the computer and dedicated operator application, that allows to view the live image of the camera online. The device has a number of sensors designed to diagnose the hermeticity of individual parts of the hull.
STIUART allows to conduct the underwater inspections of HVDC transmission cables, offshore wind farms, hydroelectric power plants and tanks of pumped storage power plants. Inspections of this type are performed periodically due to the possibility of damage of hard-to-reach parts. Often, the inspection itself involves determining the scale of lichen that is on the hull, as well as assessing the condition of outboard equipment. Nowadays, divers are used to run controls while the ship is the quay. Using underwater robots for this types of inspections can reduce the cost of those as well as limit the dangers occurring while investigating the causes and effects of marine collisions.
The size and weight of the whole set (including: robot, battery, fiber optic cable and charger) allows you to take the device on board of a plane as a standard air baggage. The prototype, designed by Marcin Skibowski and Robert Przystalski, was financed by Enamor, which, in its research and development activities, cooperates with Gdynia Maritime University and Gdańsk University of Technology.