UL Smart Robot Explores Irish Wrecks

press release
Friday, March 16, 2012
Multibeam sonar image of the WW1 U-Boat UC42 wreck taken by the UL smart robot, ROV Latis.

An advanced ‘smart technology’ marine robot designed and built by University of Limerick researchers was recently deployed to explore wrecks of The Aud and WW1 U-Boat, UC42 outside Cork Harbour.


The Aud was scuttled by its crew while under Royal Navy escort to Cork Harbour after it was prevented from landing guns in 1916 and the UC42 sank in 1917 while laying mines. With the help of the Irish Naval Service, the UL Marine Robotics team deployed the advanced Smart Remotely Operated Vehicle called ROV Latis which has patented technology features, from the LÉ Eithne to undertake submarine archaeological investigations of wrecks off the Cork Coast. 


Research Leader, Dr Daniel Toal, UL said; “The ROV Latis allows us to explore in detail the wrecks which have been on the sea-bed for nearly 100 years. The ROV Latis brought back high quality imagery which has been used to build a detailed 3D model of the UC42.”


The investigations entailed high resolution multi-beam sonar survey combined with video survey with instruments aboard the ROV Latis platform. The precision flight control of ROV Latis and advanced auto pilot control capabilities developed by team member Dr Edin Omerdic, allowed the robot to follow precise transects for multibeam sonar and video imaging of the wrecks. This fidelity in flight control offered by ROV Latis enabled acquisition of high quality imagery which was used to build the three dimensional model of the UBoat on the seabed.   


The expedition also involved Irish Naval Service (ROV) team and dive unit for training and trials of the INS Cherokee ROV alongside the advanced ROV Latis systems. Speaking about the new one of a kind smart ROV operating systems implemented on ROV Latis called Ocean Rings, Dr Toal said; “This technology now includes state-of-the-art control systems, precision navigation and positioning capabilities. The operating environment in the ROV Control Cabin aboard ship gives the surface pilot and scientists an immersive reality transparent ocean view of the underwater world as if they were sitting on the submerged vehicle and the ocean was made transparent well beyond the limits of video imagery in the underwater world.“


This is a unique prototype and the UL Marine Robotics team are currently commercialising the technology.  The archaeological aspects of the survey are supported in part by funding from the Environment Fund of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, while other aspects of the development have been supported by Science Foundation Ireland, the Marine Institute, Enterprise Ireland and EU funded projects.


The U-boat location was recently discovered by Eoghan Kieran of Moore Marine during a geophysical survey of the area. The archaeological wreck investigations aspects of the robotic survey aboard LÉ Eithne were carried out by the UL team together with Moore Marine and Dr Garret Duffy of the Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, NUI Galway. The team was also joined by Dr Martin Dean of Adus Ltd in Scotland, a specialist company working in advanced geophysical survey of wrecks and submerged structures.  


This off shore collaboration of the UL Marine Robotics team and the INS represents the first such team-up with others to follow in on-going subsea ocean vehicle research in Search And Recovery (SAR) operations and other underwater intervention tasks.  The INS is a partner in IMERC (with UCC and CIT) and the UL robotics team is collaborating with IMERC partners in ocean technology, robotics and renewable ocean energy.  The UL team aboard LÉ Ethne included Dr Daniel Toal, Dr Edin Omerdic, Dr Gerard Dooly, Mr Liam Miller and Mr Joseph Coleman, and together they have a wealth of experience in ocean engineering research, submarine robotic operations, technical diving, marine imaging, sensor technologies and workboat operations. For further information see the weblink for the Research team at UL:  www.ROVLatis.ie

Maritime Reporter September 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

US Shipowner Creates Fund for Families of Missing El Faro Crew

The owners of the cargo ship El Faro that sank after it was trapped in the path of Hurricane Joaquin off the Bahamas last week announced the creation of a family

Coast Guard Foundation Raises $250,000 for Scholarships

The Coast Guard Foundation, a nonprofit organization committed to the education and welfare of all Coast Guard members and their families, announced today that

Newport News Shipbuilding Converts to Natural Gas

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced today that its Newport News Shipbuilding division has converted its steam-generation plant from heavy fuel oil, also known as Bunker C,


Newport News Shipbuilding Converts to Natural Gas

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced today that its Newport News Shipbuilding division has converted its steam-generation plant from heavy fuel oil, also known as Bunker C,

Wärtsilä 31 Engine for Aker ARC 124 Icebreaker

The recently introduced Wärtsilä 31 engine, which has been acknowledged by Guinness World Records as being the world's most efficient four-stroke diesel engine,

EfficienSea2 Rolls out Maritime Cloud

The Danish-led e-navigation project, EfficienSea2, got one step closer to being launched when a core element of the project – Maritime Cloud – was debated by a


US Senators Introduce Bill to Limit Offshore Drilling

A group of U.S. Senators on the West Coast have introduced a bill Wednesday aiming to prohibit offshore drilling on the outer continental shelf of California, Oregon and Washington.

Danish-South Korean Co-operation Strengthened

The Danish-South Korean Green Growth Alliance met for roundtable talks yesterday. The Minister for Business and Growth's meeting with the South Korean Minister

Seadrill Hopes to See Market Turn in 2017

Offshore rig driller Seadrill is facing another two years in the doldrums but hopes the international rig market could turn around in 2017.   Rig rates have more

Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Navigation Pod Propulsion Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1778 sec (6 req/sec)