Multi-robot systems face challenges in reducing human interventions as they are often deployed in dangerous environments. It is therefore necessary to include a methodology to assess robot failure rates to reduce the requirement for costly human intervention. A solution to this problem includes robots with the ability to work together to ensure mission resilience. To prevent this intervention, robots should be able to work together to ensure mission resilience. However, robotic platforms generally lack built-in interconnectivity with other platforms from different vendors. This work aims to tackle this issue by enabling the functionality through a bidirectional digital twin. The twin enables the human operator to transmit and receive information to and from the multi-robot fleet. This digital twin considers mission resilience, decision making and a run-time reliability ontology for failure detection to enable the resilience of a multi-robot fleet. This creates the cooperation, corroboration, and collaboration of diverse robots to leverage the capability of robots and support recovery of a failed robot.
A global trend in increasing wind turbine size and distances from shore is emerging within the rapidly growing offshore wind farm market. In the UK, the offshore wind sector produced its highest amount of electricity in the UK in 2019, a 19.6% increase on the year before. Currently, the UK is set to increase production further, targeting a 74.7% increase of installed turbine capacity as reflected in recent Crown Estate leasing rounds. With such tremendous growth, the sector is now looking to Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (RAI) in order to tackle lifecycle service barriers as to support sustainable and profitable offshore wind energy production. Today, RAI applications are predominately being used to support short term objectives in operation and maintenance. However, moving forward, RAI has the potential to play a critical role throughout the full lifecycle of offshore wind infrastructure, from surveying, planning, design, logistics, operational support, training and decommissioning. This paper presents one of the first systematic reviews of RAI for the offshore renewable energy sector. The state-of-the-art in RAI is analyzed with respect to offshore energy requirements, from both industry and academia, in terms of current and future requirements. Our review also includes a detailed evaluation of investment, regulation and skills development required to support the adoption of RAI. The key trends identified through a detailed analysis of patent and academic publication databases provide insights to barriers such as certification of autonomous platforms for safety compliance and reliability, the need for digital architectures for scalability in autonomous fleets, adaptive mission planning for resilient resident operations and optimization of human machine interaction for trusted partnerships between people and autonomous assistants.
To reduce Operation and Maintenance (O&M) costs on offshore wind farms, wherein 80% of the O&M cost relates to deploying personnel, the offshore wind sector looks to robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) for solutions. Barriers to Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) robotics include operational safety compliance and resilience, inhibiting the commercialization of autonomous services offshore. To address safety and resilience challenges we propose a symbiotic system; reflecting the lifecycle learning and co-evolution with knowledge sharing for mutual gain of robotic platforms and remote human operators. Our methodology enables the run-time verification of safety, reliability and resilience during autonomous missions. We synchronize digital models of the robot, environment and infrastructure and integrate front-end analytics and bidirectional communication for autonomous adaptive mission planning and situation reporting to a remote operator. A reliability ontology for the deployed robot, based on our holistic hierarchical-relational model, supports computationally efficient platform data analysis. We analyze the mission status and diagnostics of critical sub-systems within the robot to provide automatic updates to our run-time reliability ontology, enabling faults to be translated into failure modes for decision making during the mission. We demonstrate an asset inspection mission within a confined space and employ millimeter-wave sensing to enhance situational awareness to detect the presence of obscured personnel to mitigate risk. Our results demonstrate a symbiotic system provides an enhanced resilience capability to BVLOS missions. A symbiotic system addresses the operational challenges and reprioritization of autonomous mission objectives. This advances the technology required to achieve fully trustworthy autonomous systems.