The UK-based companies Barrier Group, of Wallsend, and DroneOps have teamed up with the Dutch AkzoNobel’s Marine Coatings Business to develop a drone that will be able to remotely inspect ballast water tanks.
This should improve “accuracy, efficiencies, as well as the health and safety of ships’ crews and inspection personnel.” It will be unveiled this October.
The project is entitled Remote Evaluation of Coatings and Corrosion on Offshore Marine Structures and Ships (RECOMMS).
It will use virtual reality technology and semi-autonomous operation of a drone to evaluate ballast water tanks and other difficult-to-access areas on ships and offshore structures, including inspections of coatings and corrosion. Such inspections are said to be a risky task which represents one of the most common causes of workrelated fatalities in the industry.