UK-based Rovco has unveiled ‘SubSLAM Live,’ 3D streaming technology that allows clients to video and live stream 3D underwater point clouds to any device in the world
The stereo camera technology used in SubSLAM sends images and 3D models of assets from the seabed to a computer browser in any location. This offers customers instantaneous access to information as an inspection or construction activity is taking place.
The Bristol-headquartered firm trialled the technology earlier in 2019 with an oil and gas super major working on an offshore windfarm, and more recently in 0.5 m of visibility at a former naval dockyard owned by the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult.
Rovco chief science officer Iain Wallace said, “To our knowledge, this technology is the first of its kind to live stream from the seabed to a desk. Our ongoing investment in research and development has shown how subsea work can be carried out in the future.”
Engineers used Rovco’s stereo camera system to capture high-definition video. This allowed them to use the SLAM (simultaneous localisation and mapping) system to build highly accurate 3D point cloud models while staff back in their office directed a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), keeping track of it and its location and operation via their phones and laptops.
Rovco said it believes the capabilities of the technology will change the way the industry carries out underwater inspections. It believes it can reduce time, cost and revolutionise the way engineers process data, allowing for faster data-driven decisions to be made regarding the integrity of subsea infrastructure.
Mr Wallace added, “The model is compressed and progressively sent over a low-bandwidth <256 Kb network link to a cloud server along with the ROV’s position. Authorised clients can then log into our secure data delivery platform and view the live model, pulling the data from the cloud on-demand.”
The accurately calibrated stereo camera system model is automatically scaled. This means Rovco’s clients can not only view the model but can also take live measurements of the assets. There are no specialist tools required as it works within a standard web browser.
“We are now able to deliver higher quality and faster results than is possible with any other subsea 3D system,” Mr Wallace claimed. “It is also a step towards proving that our online data delivery platform is the perfect tool for hosting, viewing and manipulating all kinds of subsea data.”