Learn more about what AUTOASSESS has to offer

The problem that

we want to address

To ensure the structural safety of ships, oil and gas and other marine infrastructures, they must be surveyed to detect corrosion, cracks or deformation. Currently, this task is done by human surveyors who must climb into confined areas such as ballast tanks, or cargo holds which represent extremely dangerous GNSS-denied environments.

The inspection is a physically demanding task, done in tight enclosed spaces, difficult to access, with low/no light, slippery surfaces and with low/no oxygen and toxic gases. According to the International Marine Organization (IMO) one person is killed on average every week from accidents in such enclosed spaces.

Further, during the inspection process the ship cannot operate, posing high pressure on surveyors to work quickly. Major 5-year dry dock inspections are associated with around 1 M€ per vessel, resulting in about 11B€ per year for the whole industry. The reason for these high costs is that an average inspection takes up to 15 days, during which the vessel cannot operate. If the inspection time could be reduced to 3 days, the industry would save 80% (i.e. 0.8M€ per vessel).

1

person
killed
per week

AUTOASSESS
wants to reduce
it to 0

11B€

costs
per year

AUTOASSESS
aproach will decrease time
and costs

The AUTOASSESS Project

The goal of the AUTOASSESS project is to employ a robot and remove human surveyors out of harm’s way, while at the same time obtaining an accurate, repeatable, and quick vessel inspection. 

In recent years progress has been made in aerial systems, or drones for mapping and inspection. Even though the inspection of enclosed marine structures in challenging conditions is still a problematic task, an aerial multi-robotic human centric system, with automated AI based scanning, mapping and Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) has the potential to remove the need for human inspection. 

Only by combining and integrating the latest developments in collision-tolerant UAS, multi-modal Simultaneous Localization and Mapping, path planning, autonomous drone racing, aerial manipulation, miniaturized NDT sensors and Machine Learning-based defect identification it is possible to deploy drones in these tight spaces for inspection purposes. 

This superhuman approach would also decrease time and costs, as inspections will take as little as 1 day, saving the industry multiple billion euros per year.

The AUTOASSESS Solution

Consortium members

Technical University of Denmark

Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Technical University
of Munich

University of Twente

ScoutDI

Cognite

FAYARD A/S

Glafcos Marine

F6S

DNV

Euronav

DANAOS Shipping

Klaveness Ship Management

University of Zurich

Flyability

Sensima Inspection

Technical University of Denmark

The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) is coordinating the AUTOASSESS project. DTU was founded in 1829 and in 2023 got named the best technical university in Europe, according to EngiRank ranking. The AUTOASSESS team at DTU is associated with the Department of Electrical and Photonics Engineering (DTU Electro). The DTU team has a history of research autonomous robotic inspection, with INSPECTRONE being the precursor project to AUTOASSESS. Next to coordinating the AUTOASSESS project and leading the DTU team, associate professor Evangelos Boukas is the head of the Autonomous Systems MSc at DTU.

www.dtu.dk

Norwegian University of Science and Technology

NTNU is an international oriented university with headquarters in Trondheim and campuses in Gjøvik and Ålesund.

In AUTOASSESS, NTNU is involved through the Autonomous Robots Lab (ARL). ARL focuses on developing the methodologies and technologies necessary to enable resilient autonomy across diverse robotic configurations. Our track record involves leading the winning team of the DARPA Subterranean Challenge and a host of contributions in robust control, perception and planning in sensor-degraded austere environments.

https://www.autonomousrobotslab.com

Technical University of Munich

The Smart Robotics Lab (SRL) at TUM focuses on enabling technologies for mobile robots operating in a potentially unknown environment. This includes localization, mapping, and 3D scene understanding

With a suite of sensors. Their aim is to empower the next generation of mobile robots that plan and execute complex tasks in potentially cluttered, and dynamic environments, possibly close to people.

https://srl.cit.tum.de 

University of Twente

The Robotics and Mechatronics (RAM) department at the University of Twente has been at the forefront of the design and control of physically interactive aerial robots since its beginning in the early 2010s. Its current members have played a pivotal role in different EU institutions in propelling the field’s rapid evolution, contributing significantly to various critical areas. These contributions notably encompass the design and control of aerial manipulators, fully-actuated, omnidirectional, and energy-efficient morphing multirotor flying machines, with a focus on their application in inspecting and maintaining industrial and civil sites. Moreover, the department’s expertise extends to cable-suspended aerial manipulation and transportation systems,. The ongoing efforts and achievements of the RAM department underscore its profound impact on advancing aerial robotics for real-world applications.

https://www.ram.eemcs.utwente.nl/research/projects/autoassess

ScoutDI

ScoutDI is a Norwegian technology company focusing on robotics for safer and more efficient inspection of confined spaces. We’re a spin-out of the Robotics and Autonomous Systems Group at the Norwegian University of Technology and Science (NTNU). Our main products are the Scout 137 Drone System and the Scout Portal, together forming an end-to-end inspection data solution that maximizes safety and reduces asset downtime to a minimum. The tethered drone allows unlimited flight-time and is designed for no-human-entry to dangerous environments. A 3D lidar ensures collision avoidance and positioning, and provides location-tagging to data from all ScoutDI payloads. Inspection data are organized and visualized in the Scout Portal, for easy sharing, analysis and collaboration with other stakeholders.

https://www.scoutdi.com

Cognite

Cognite is a globally recognized leader in industrial software and they have an international presence with offices in Oslo, Norway, Austin, Texas, and Tokyo, Japan. Cognite specialize in asset-heavy industries through accessible, trustworthy, and contextualized data.

In the industrial robotics space, Cognite distinguishes itself by enabling operators to efficiently control and gather data from the field using a variety of robots, such as Boston Dynamics Spot, ANYbotics ANYmal, and various drones solution, notably ScoutDI, each equipped with diverse sets of sensor payloads. This capability is integrated into Cognite Data Fusion, allowing for the optimization of robot operators’ activities. Cognite plays a central part in industrial robotics through a robust framework for requesting, handling and analyzing robot inspection data.

https://www.cognite.com/en/

FAYARD A/S

FAYARD A/S is a large Maritime Service Hub located centrally in Denmark close to the major international shipping routes. On a yearly average FAYARD services app. 130-140 vessel every year. Our focus is in quality – on time Always, why our dedication to continuously development of our efficiency and safety is extremely important. FAYARD is ISO 9001, 14001 and 45001 certified. 

For the Autoasses project FAYARD is the party to deliver real vessel trial opportunities and challenges.

https://www.fayard.dk/

Glafcos Marine

Glafcos Marine Ltd. (GLC) is a technical group made up of Naval Architects, Marine, Mechanical, and Electrical Engineers, as well as Programmers, who provides consultancy services, software solutions, and systems to the marine and civil industries. Its offerings cover a wide range of ship demands from design through construction, sea trials, and operation. Glafcos’ major areas of maritime services include consultancy for strategic planning and technical assistance for day-to-day operations, as well as inspection services, and is also a Classification Societies approved service provider member of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) in the field of non-destructive testing. The company is also involved in robotics R&D and has successfully introduced various robotic platforms into ship inspection procedures under certification.

http://glafcos-marine.com/

F6S

F6S is the leading SME network and platform for application management for commercial, corporate, government, university and other accelerator programs, helping thousands of such initiatives worldwide. Every year F6S processes more than 100,000 applications and has delivered billions of Euros to startups and SMEs. F6S is experienced in creating effective recruitment campaigns, targeting the right SMEs/Startups, disseminating open calls far and wide and managing the selection process of the applicants. F6S tracks emerging trends across industries and has insights that reach beyond any database, from its strong network of project partners, corporates, universities & startups. F6S’ innovative communication team leverages these assets and a strong experience in community building to deliver a high-impact strategy to promote, communicate, and disseminate research activities and achievements, maximising sustainability of projects’ results.

https://www.f6s.com

DNV

DNV is an independent assurance and risk management provider, operating in more than 100 countries. Through its broad experience and deep expertise, DNV advances safety and sustainable performance, sets industry standards, and inspires and invents solutions.

Whether assessing a new ship design, qualifying technology for a floating wind farm, analysing sensor data from a gas pipeline or certifying a food company’s supply chain, DNV enables its customers and their stakeholders to manage technological and regulatory complexity with confidence. 

Driven by its purpose, to safeguard life, property, and the environment, DNV helps its customers seize opportunities and tackle the risks arising from global transformations. DNV is a trusted voice for many of the world’s most successful and forward-thinking companies.

https://www.dnv.com

Euronav

Euronav is an independent quoted tanker company engaged in the ocean transportation and storage of crude oil. The Company, incorporated in Belgium, is headquartered in Antwerp and has offices throughout Europe and Asia. Worldwide, Euronav employs approximately 200 permanent personnel on shore and around 3,200 people work on the vessels. The Company has progressed from a family operation with 17 vessels to a strong international player listed on Euronext Brussels and on the NYSE under the symbol ‘EURN’. 

The need to operate a safe and reliable fleet has never been more crucial and it is the most important strategic objective for the Company. Euronav aims to be an efficient organisation and strives to deliver the highest quality and best possible service to its customers.

Euronav has a long-term strategy of through-cycle-profitability by adapting its balance sheet leverage and liquidity position in accordance with the sources of its revenues which can be fixed (long-term FSO Income and/or TC portfolio) or floating (pool and spot) revenues.

Sustainability is a core value at Euronav as it ensures the long-term health and success of our people, our business and the environment we work in. It involves a commitment to safety and environmental protection practices, as well as an innovative approach to the use of technology and information.

By employing officers who graduated from the most reputable maritime academies in the world on board a modern fleet, Euronav aims to operate in the top end of the market. The skills of its directly employed seagoing officers and shore-based captains and engineers give a competitive edge in the maintenance, as well as in the operations and delivery of offshore projects.

https://www.euronav.com/en/

DANAOS Shipping

DANAOS Shipping is the vessel manager of DANAOS Corporation, a leading international owner of more than 70 containerships. DANAOS is chartering containerships to a geographically diverse group of liner companies, including most of the largest ones globally. The distinct edge in advanced shipping technology and long track record of safety, efficiency, and environmental responsibility has helped the company to forge lasting relationships with its customers. DANAOS is strongly investing in research and innovation. The organization has been actively engaged in both bonafide and applied operational research through its prestigious research and innovation hub, DANAOS Research Centre (DRC), formalized in 2004, is currently a dominant player in European IT maritime applied research. We are embracing multinational research collaboration through an active engagement in joint initiatives, reflected in the participation of DANAOS in 40+ EU research and innovation projects. 

https://www.danaosshipping.gr/

Klaveness Ship Management

Klaveness Ship Management (KSM) is a value-driven and competence-focused ship management company, managing 16 combination carriers on behalf of Klaveness Combination Carriers (KCC). These vessels are designed for both dry and wet cargo transport—a groundbreaking innovation in the field. Their specialized expertise spans various vessel types, including container ships, dry bulk carriers, chemical tankers, and petroleum product tankers. KSM’s commitment extends beyond business, and they strive to positively impact both the environment and society with the strictest attention always paid to safety, security, environmental care, and compliance. This unwavering commitment is embodied in Klaveness Always Safe and Secure (KLASS) principles. The mantra is not just a set of guidelines, it is a culture passionately embraced onshore, as well by our entire fleet and crew.

https://www.klaveness.com

University of Zurich 

The University of Zurich (UZH) is Switzerland’s largest university with more than 26 000 enrolled student, 640 professors and 3460 researchers. UZH is made up of seven faculties covering more than 100 different subject areas. As a member of the “League of European Research Universities”, UZH belongs to Europe’s most prestigious research institutions has received numerous distinctions for its contributions in the fields of medicine, economics and neuroscience.

UZH will be involved in the AUTOASSESS project through the Robotics and Perception Group (RPG) led by Prof. Davide Scaramuzza. RPG was founded in February 2012 and is part of the Department of Informatics, at the University of Zurich, and the Department of Neuroinformatics, which is a joint institute of both the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich. RPG consists of approximately 16 PhD students, senior scientists and engineers. RPG’s mission is to research the fundamental challenges of robotics and computer vision that will benefit all of humanity. Our key interest is to develop autonomous machines that can navigate all by themselves using only onboard cameras and computation, without relying on external infrastructure, such as GPS or position tracking systems, nor off-board computing. In AUTOASSESS, UZH will contribute to long range flights in confined spaces including path planning and execution (leading WP3), exploration autonomy (WP4), and sensor fusion for mapping (WP6).

https://rpg.ifi.uzh.ch

Flyability

Flyability pioneered confined space inspection drones, creating new technology that allows inspectors to collect data remotely inside dangerous confined spaces instead of in person. Since launching in 2014, Flyability has become a trusted provider of internal inspection solutions, enabling remote data collection with cutting edge hardware and software for inspection professionals to help them improve safety, reduce downtimes, and cut costs for their internal inspections. Today Flyability has offices in Switzerland, China, Singapore, and the U.S., with more than one thousand clients in over 60 countries. Flyability works in every industry that requires internal inspections, including Power Generation, Oil & Gas, Mining, Wastewater Infrastructure, Chemicals, Maritime, and Infrastructure & Utilities. 

https://www.flyability.com

Sensima Inspection 

http://www.sensimainsp.com