Shell plc, a leading energy company, has recently awarded a contract to Nauticus Robotics, a pioneer in autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and artificial intelligence (AI) for the offshore industry. The agreement entails Nauticus providing inspection services using their flagship AUV, Aquanaut, for a Shell subsea field development in the Gulf of Mexico.
Aquanaut is a fully autonomous vehicle equipped with various sensors, including high-resolution cameras, sonar, and ultrasonic testing equipment, enabling it to inspect subsea assets for damage and corrosion. It can operate in water depths of over 1,000 meters and for up to 12 hours without needing to surface.
The use of autonomous robots for subsea operations offers several advantages over traditional methods. These robots can operate in deeper waters and more challenging conditions than human divers, collect more data, and perform complex tasks. Additionally, they can help reduce costs and improve safety by eliminating the need for support vessels and minimizing the risk of accidents.
Nauticus is also working on developing AUVs for repair and maintenance tasks and AI-powered software to enhance the autonomy and intelligence of their vehicles. The Shell agreement is a significant milestone for Nauticus, marking the first commercial contract for autonomous subsea inspection services awarded by a major energy company.
The adoption of AUVs and AI has the potential to address challenges faced by the offshore industry, including aging infrastructure, rising costs, and increasing environmental regulations. These technologies can improve safety, efficiency, and sustainability in offshore operations.
Shell’s commitment to innovation is evident in its investment in autonomous subsea technology. The company believes that autonomous operations have the potential to revolutionize the offshore industry.
Overall, the Shell contract validates Nauticus’ technology and showcases the growing adoption of autonomous robots in the offshore industry, paving the way for future advancements in subsea operations.
Sources: Shell plc, Nauticus Robotics