OSIRIS is a highly innovative robotic solution for the inspection and maintenance of offshore structures, including wind turbines and oil rigs. It alleviates the risks imposed on workers, who typically carry out these tasks manually under hazardous conditions, and provides a step change in the capabilities currently provided by drones in this application.
OSIRIS combines the best features of drones and climbing robots, without their notable limitations. Drones offer flexible stand-off inspection, but their utility is limited by an inability to achieve secure contact with structures, ruling out both contact-based non-destructive testing techniques and the application of on-the-spot remediation measures. Climbing robots offer constant contact with the target structure, but access to certain parts of structures (e.g. wind turbine blades) requires placement and retrieval by a human, obviating the risk alleviation benefits. OSIRIS operates as both a drone and a climbing robot, with an ability to transition between the two modes, and therefore offers the benefits of each without the inherent limitations. OSIRIS can fly to a difficult-to-access part of a structure to obtain high definition stand-off imagery, attach and transition to climbing mode for a more detailed inspection (or to apply a remediation measure), and then detach and return to drone mode.
Although our innovation targets the Offshore Energy sector, there is real potential to read the technology across to adjacent markets.