Robotic inspection and measurement systems have great potential for performing tasks safely, better, and faster than humans. Of specific interest in drydocks are aerial robotic systems for contact-based measurements and inspections as they are, quick, agile, versatile, and safer than putting workers at risk due to the height of installations.
The robotic measurement technologies with the highest potential for use in drydocks are the ones that fly and physically make contact with a surface, such as the hull of a ship, to gather data. Maritime assets are not box-shaped structures. Ships for example, are complex geometries that are optimised to reduce drag co efficiencies. These ‘flowing lines’ make robotic maintenance, inspection and measurement, challenging. However, one of the great advantages of aerial robotics is that they can adapt – they can easily conform to non-linear surfaces, while other robotic, or other techniques, have a long adaptation curve.