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Latest insights on Robotics and AI at Discovery Room event

Marine-i partner Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult led the Marine-i Robotics & Artificial Intelligence Discovery Room at ESAM in St Austell on 6 December.

The full day event was attended by SMEs, OEMS and academics from across the South West. The Catapult’s Innovation Manager Alex Louden and Offshore Engineer Hamish MacDonald described the Offshore Wind market and predicted where autonomous systems could make a huge impact, in reducing risk to human life, whilst improving performance of offshore systems. They described a range of projects assessing the capability of robotic underwater systems for surveying subsea assets much more quickly that can be carried out at present.

Mr Wo King, CEO & Founder of Hi9, a Voice Assistant design agency based in Cornwall, then described the revolutionary use of bots (voice activated applications) in extremely hazardous situations. Wo spoke about how quickly we had become familiar with voice bots in cars, phones and in the home, and how bots will increasing replace normal keyboard and screen interfaces.

The next speaker was Mario Gianni, a Lecturer in Computer Science and Robotics at University of Plymouth. He spoke about cooperation between humans and teams of robots in Urban Search and Rescue scenarios and his design of an all-terrain 3D autonomous navigation framework for an articulated tracked robot. Mario showed some fascinating videos of robots working in the depths of damaged buildings, searching and finding survivors. Dr Philipp Thies, a Senior Lecturer in Renewable Energy in the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences at the University of Exeter discussed his work looking at autonomous robotic intervention systems for extreme maritime environments. Philipp was able to share details of a number of cutting- edge projects looking at how surface and subsurface autonomous vessels could operate together in the future without the need for human intervention.

Simon Cheeseman of Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult summed up the event: “This was an exciting day that revealed the latest insights into Robotics and AI, as well as stimulating businesses to look at new kinds of applications. It was a great example of high tech activity in Cornwall with the private sector, the public sector and academia all working collaboratively to bring about innovation.”