Ship integrity and pollution prevention call for periodic ship inspections. Moreover International regulations impose periodic ship inspections, and stricter rules are expected in the future. As the current approach is based on direct human intervention, high costs and risks for human beings are entailed. A remotely operated robot can replace reliably and efficiently direct human intervention. The Remotely Operated Tanker Inspection System (ROTIS) has been specifically developed in order to enter the flooded ballast tanks (even during ship navigation) and to perform closeup visual inspection and wall thickness measurements (NDT inspections). ROTIS will allow: lower costs (e.g. avoiding ship stand-by), lower risks, reliable results (not depending on operator) and automated report generation. The system is composed of:

  • a compact, free-floating Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV)

  • an Intermediate Unit (IU), hosting the vehicle power supply and providing communication link

  • a Human Machine Interface (HMI), placed in a safe area, such as the bridge.

The ROV is fitted with specific features permitting navigation inside the ballast tanks, passing through horizontal and vertical manholes, taking pictures and gauging plate and stiffeners thickness at whatever slant. The ROTIS system is completing its development and it is planned to test it in the ballast area of a real tanker by the end of the current year

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