ORE Catapult and ORCA forge robotics alliance
Two UK based research
organisations in the development of robotics for use in offshore renewables
have announced plans to collaborate to strengthen the relationship between
applied academic research and industry need and further develop and amplify
the sector’s robotics opportunity.
The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult and the Offshore Robotics
for Certification of Assets (ORCA) Hub, a collaboration led by the Edinburgh
Centre for Robotics (Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh),
with Imperial College London and the Universities of Oxford and Liverpool,
will work together to translate UK robotics innovation and research expertise
into products and services for the offshore renewables industry and link
key industry partners with academia based on specific needs.
Both organisations will undertake joint research programmes and projects,
aiming to develop future skills by supporting MSc and PhD projects. They
will also develop a national strategy with specific robotics technology
innovation roadmaps towards commercialisation.
Chris Hill, ORE Catapult’s Operational Performance Director, said: “This
collaboration with the UK’s leading universities in the field of applied
robotics will enhance the technical capability and credibility of our Operations
& Maintenance Centre of Excellence. We will be able to bridge the gap
between the cutting-edge applied robotics research taking place in the
UK right now and the needs of industry, who are focused on driving down
costs, improving health and safety and ultimately the productivity and
efficiency of our offshore renewable energy plant.”
Professor David Lane CBE, ORCA Hub Director, said: “This collaboration
with the ORE Catapult builds on our on-going work within the renewables
sector. The ORCA Hub, part of the National Robotarium, is developing use-inspired
robotics and AI technology from the science base, driven by industry challenges.
There is enormous scope for the application of robotics solutions within
the energy sector to reduce cost and risk, increase productivity and contribute
towards net zero energy transition. We look forward to strengthening our
relationship with the ORE to really drill drown on use cases, industry
partnerships and our culture of development by demonstration.”
The two organisations last worked together in 2019, when ORCA Hub held
a robotics demonstration day at ORE Catapult’s National Renewable Energy
Centre in Blyth, Northumberland, highlighting some of the technologies
currently in development, and how these could be applied in the real-world.