Offshore platforms come in a variety of shapes, sizes and types. However, they are almost always isolated from land and located in places that are buffeted by rough weather and cut off from resupply except by helicopter. Floating platforms also have extensive underwater components, which is why pil & gas industry suppliers have been hard at work figuring out how to cut costs and increase the reliability of underwater offshore platform maintenance tools.
ROVs – Remotely operated vehicles – are increasingly important to this task. The same way that drones have become ever more crucial to surveillance and military action, underwater ROVs can be guided by operators safely secured in land-based control rooms, reducing the exposure and risk of human personnel. These vehicles are equipped with visual inspection tools such as cameras. They are equipped with additional detection and visualization tools, as well as instruments that allow them to manipulate their environment – robotic arms, manipulators, drills and so on.
The offshore drilling industry has increasingly come to depend on ROVs for exploration, underwater inspection and even active tasks such as sawing and manipulating objects. With increasing improvements in robotics, soon enough underwater vehicles may not even need direct human guidance, but will able to navigate and fulfill their tasks autonomously. This will allow oil and gas engineers and extractors to use their time even more efficiently, and will help to find more fossil fuels, extract them in a more cost-effective manner, maintain worker safety and lower the price of energy all at once.