VIDEO: 'World's first' autonomous offshore robot tested

GERMANY: Transmission system operator (TSO) Tennet has tested the world's first autonomous offshore robot on a converter platform near North Sea wind farms.

The Anybotics robot can transmit real-time information gathered by its cameras, microphones and sensors

Robotics firm Anybotics’ four-legged "Anymal" carried out routine inspection tasks to monitor machine operations and detect thermal hotspots and oil or water leakages during the one-week pilot in September.

The Swiss company claims a mobile robot can help reduce the risk of disruption during periods of unmanned operation and ensure the security of electricity supply.

Through the partnership with Tennet, which operates tramsmission networks for offshore wind farms connecting them to the onshore grid, Anyrobotics hopes to evaluate robotic inspection and maintenance on offshore converter platforms.

Anymal can be remotely operated from an onshore control centre.

It can transmit real-time information through the robot’s onboard visual and thermal cameras, microphones and gas-detection sensors.

Anybotics plan to carry out more and longer tests of the prototype "very soon", a spokesman told Windpower Monthly.

The robotics company is also developing new versions "with the capabilities and certification required to have a fixed installation on offshore platforms and other industrial sectors", he added.