In a world-first, subsea technology company Rovco has launched “SubSLAM Live” a 3D Streaming technology which allows clients to video and live stream 3D underwater pointclouds to any device in the world.
The stereo camera technology system sends images and 3D models of assets from the seabed to a computer browser in any location globally. 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 the year with an oil and gas Super Major, at a renewable wind farm, and more recently in 0.5m of visibility at an ex-naval dockyard owned by Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult.
Iain Wallace, CSO at Rovco said: “To our knowledge, this technology is the first of its kind, anywhere in the world, to live stream from the seabed to a desk. We have been utilising our SubSLAM technology for 1 year so far but with our ongoing investment in research and development, our latest capability of the system has revolutionised how subsea work can be carried out.”
During the final trials, the technology was lowered into a sea-water filled dock which contains sample assets from the subsea industry. Engineers were using Rovco's state-of-the-art 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 300 miles away directed the ROV while keeping track of the ROV location and operations via their phones and laptops.
The capabilities of this new technology will change the way the industry carries out underwater inspections. 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.
Iain Wallace added: “The model is compressed and progressively sent over a low-bandwidth <256Kb network link to a cloud server along with the ROV's position. Authorised clients can then log into our highly 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.
More than 20 engineers in the Rovco research and development team have worked on the new technology, Iain Wallace added: “We are now able to deliver higher quality and faster results to our customers with this technology than is possible with any other subsea 3D system. It is also a step towards proving that our online Data Delivery Platform is the perfect tool for hosting, viewing and manipulating all varieties of subsea data.”
Formed in 2015, Rovco is pushing the boundaries and changing the way underwater work is performed. Investing heavily in the development of real-time artificial intelligence and 3D vision systems for subsea robotics. The company has the resources and expertise to deliver challenging projects across the globe delivering the highest quality data. For more information, please visit www.rovco.com.