Conference paper Open Access
Vessels constitute one of the most cost effective ways of transporting goods around the world. Despite the efforts, maritime accidents still occur, sometimes with catastrophic consequences. Ships involved in these activities are periodically submitted to inspections for the early detection of the defective situations that precede service disruptions, personnel injuries and, ultimately, shipwrecks. These inspections are nowadays carried out by human surveyors at a great cost from both time and economical points of view. The recently initiated EU-funded H2020 project ROBINS pursues filling the technology and regulatory gaps that today still represent a barrier to the adoption of Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) in activities related to the inspection of ships, starting from understanding end-user’s actual needs and expectations as well as analyzing how existing or near-future technology can meet them. This paper overviews the ROBINS project, focusing on the main development activities to be carried out by the UIB, namely a re-designed Micro-Aerial Vehicle (MAV) specialized for the inspection of cargo holds and new tools for the analysis of the inspection data collected by the robotic platforms.