Armach Launches Successful OTH Hull Service Robot Trial

Armach Launches Successful OTH Hull Service Robot Trial

Armach Robotics, Inc. announced the first successful trial of the in-water hull service robot (HSR) in full over-the-horizon mode.

The company, on Dec. 20, announced the achievement of a “critical milestone” by successfully operating its Armach Hull Service Robotic hull cleaning service in full over-the-horizon (OTH) mode.

The demonstration took place in Norfolk, Virginia, USA while the robot was monitored and controlled by staff at the Armach’s command center in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The personnel gained control of the robot by using a 4G modem providing over-the-air connectivity.

The HSR completed its pre-dive checks on the pier involving full system checks. In the trial, the organization also showed how the HSR can navigate itself around its planned path of transit as well as return to its originally planned path of operation.

According to Armach Operations Manager Cody Peyres, following the verification of the vehicle’s capability to be controlled while in OTH mode, the company gained enough confidence to proceed to additional in-water testing.

“After verifying the capability to successfully OTH control the vehicle from the safety of the pier, confidence levels were high enough to proceed to additional in-water testing. The vehicle was launched into the harbor and released.”

He added that the operator based in Plymouth was able to fly the vehicle from the launch point and approached the ship.

“The Plymouth-based operator was able to fly the vehicle from the launch point at the pier, and make a controlled approach to the side of the ship. Once there, it was able to attach itself successfully, and travel along the ship’s side performing a short test cleaning protocol.”

Peyres explained that the company continues to leverage Greensea’s OPENSEA open architecture control software combined with Armach’s On-Hull navigation solution from the HSR’s myriad sensors.

“We also knew that Greensea’s Safe C2, a distance operation solution also part of the OPENSEA suite, had already proved that it was operationally viable for conducting advanced intervention tasks with ROVs. Bringing the two together in our vehicle, which has different demands from a more traditional ROV, represented an important milestone,” he said.

Furthermore, Armach VP Operations John Dunn expressed his joy toward the achieved milestone.

“Flying the vehicle from Plymouth and landing on the BB64 was a euphoric experience, as we reached one more milestone on our technology roadmap. We were absolutely geeking out in Plymouth. The technology to do this isn’t new or even new to the market, however, getting it incorporated onto our platform, while our collective teams continue to develop and iterate our technical offering, was still a huge lift. My hats off to the Software, Hardware and Operations teams for pulling together and moving the ball during this already busy operation.”

Armach said that the units can be a “resident” on ships of all classes and boasted of its provided convenience as well as the quick cleaning process that does not impact the vessels’ turnaround time.

For more maritime updates, visit our blogs and like and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.