AkzoNobel, oil and gas tanker operator Barrier Group and DroneOps have joined forces to develop a drone capable of remotely inspecting enclosed spaces and ballast water tanks.
The project will use advanced virtual reality technology to deliver safer, more accurate evaluations of ballast water tanks, offshore wind farms and other enclosed or difficult to access spaces on ships and marine structures, including inspections of coatings and corrosion.
Traditionally, inspections are carried out by crew, surveyors or independent inspectors – a potentially risky activity which represents one of the most common causes of work-related fatalities in the industry.
“Surveys of enclosed spaces and ballast water tanks are an essential part of routine maintenance and are increasingly critical for ship owners,” explained Michael Hindmarsh, Business Development Manager at AkzoNobel’s Marine Coatings business.
“Inspecting these areas thoroughly can require working at height, entering confined spaces and negotiating slippery surfaces that could be poorly lit, all of which are high-risk activities that the maritime industry is keen to address.”