UK engineering firm, Forth, the company leading the creation of an innovative autonomous underwater survey robot – Autonomous Aquatic Inspection and Intervention (A2I2) – is looking for investment partners to bring the working prototype of the product to a commercial stage following successful trials.
A2I2 is an intelligent, tether-less robot which is fitted with sonar technology to detect and avoid obstacles underwater and can be operated in hazardous environments from a safe, remote distance.
Chris Downham, programme manager at Forth, said: “A lot of hard work and endless amount of hours has gone into producing a working prototype of such an intelligent and pioneering piece of technology, and we are proud of the success of the trials. We have witnessed first hand what a groundbreaking piece of technology it is. A2I2 is built to withstand even the most hazardous environments, and this development will improve the health and safety for underwater work, with the machine being operated remotely from a safe distance.”
He adds, “A really exciting opportunity has become available to jump on board and work to bring this outstanding piece of machinery to the market, and we would love to hear from those who want to support the project and bring it to a wider audience.”
A2I2 has sonar technology which can detect and avoid obstacles while underwater, while Forth has developed an enabling Lilypad technology which provides launch and recovery, recharging and high bandwidth communications for the remotely operated vehicle. The images detected by the robot are streamed on to a live feed with no delay, to allow engineers to make crucial judgements in real time. Those operating the machine can then survey the same area at a later date and overlay the original image, to assess the impact of any maintenance and repairs. A2I2 also comes with advanced automated software development tools, which can be used to develop autonomous decision making in accordance with regulatory requirements.
Working with the University of Manchester, the development team has created wireless underwater communication systems. These eliminate the need for any tethers, allowing A2I2 to operate more freely in hazardous environments.