Two more UK companies have been awarded an opportunity to develop and demonstrate innovative robotic solutions with GE Renewable Energy and the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult
Eleven-I and Innvotek successfully applied to a robotics innovation call, the latest in a series of challenge competitions through GE Renewable Energy and ORE Catapult’s ‘Stay Ashore’ research and development programme, delivered through the Offshore Wind Innovation Hub’s Innovation Exchange (OWiX) in partnership with KTN.
Derbyshire-based Eleven-I, which provides instrumentation hardware, software and data analysis technologies, has been selected to develop its blade monitoring and analysis system used to monitor blade health throughout its lifetime, from post-manufacture and transportation through to operation.
Innvotek, a Cambridge-based technology innovation consultancy, was successful in its application to further develop a robotic crawler, equipped with bolt inspection capability and a tightening tool for generator maintenance.
Both companies will now go on to receive technical support, guidance and demonstration opportunities with GE Renewable Energy and ORE Catapult. They also follow two previous UK innovation challenge winners announced in November last year, Tethys and Aerones, which focused on developing novel blade maintenance technology solutions for GE.
The development of robotic technology is seen as vital for the offshore wind sector, which, according to ORE Catapult research, could cut its inspection costs by almost 40% through integrating remote operations, robotics and automated systems into operations and maintenance activities.
GE Renewable Energy senior product manager and ‘Stay Ashore’ programme manager Anthony Gordon said, “GE Renewable Energy is thrilled to continue partnering with ORE Catapult, OWiX and KTN to bring more robotics innovation to the spotlight through this challenge.
“We believe robotics solutions such as the ones presented by Eleven-I and Innvotek have the ability to significantly reduce operations and maintenance costs for offshore wind turbines like the Haliade-X. We are looking forward to seeing their innovation demonstrations.”
ORE Catapult programme manager Graham Smith said the second robotics challenge in the four-year Stay Ashore research collaboration received many applications from UK companies.
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