ARIAM Seminar Series: Towards autonomous underwater navigation and perception for end-to-end ship hull inspection

WHEN1:00pm - 2:00pm, 13 June, 2024 [AEST]
WHEREUniversity of Sydney and online


In a world where maritime activities have significant and distinctive impacts in many sectors, where over 5000 ships operate daily, safety concerns from the structural integrity of the hulls are raised. These concerns are not only related to the ship’s crew safety if there are apparent damages to the hull, but also related to the environmental effects. Indeed, an unmaintained hull will provoke a significant rise of the fuel consumption over time. Although successful, traditional inspection methods in dry docks are time-consuming and increase the ship’s down time and cost. Remote inspections are promising to address this issue. ROV-based inspections enable efficient visual documentation while the ship is still in water and docked. Further automating the process increases the efficiency since it brings consistency and faster data processing. With the inspection culture and regulations in mind, we aim to achieve a fully automated inspection of underwater ship hulls, i.e., from the deployment of the vehicle to the assistance of the surveyor to generate the inspection reports, including autonomous navigation, mapping, and anomaly detection. The complete solution was tested in ten harbours and on six ships of different sizes and structures to ensure the adaptability of the methods and consistency of the results. By taking advantage of the available sensors, it was possible to move along the hull with high precision at the same time as mapping it.

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