Autonomous Synchronised Stabilised Platform (ASSP) Project

In the future, Autonomous Surface Vessels (ASVs) will play an important role in servicing and repair of offshore installations for wind energy generation and hydrocarbon production. ASVs can operate around the clock in all but the most extreme weather conditions and, being unmanned, savings can be made by eliminating accommodation and equipment related to human safety. However, in order to carry out useful intervention tasks, ASVs need autonomous tools and manipulators.

STL are developing a ship-based multi-axis robotic arm with financial support from the Marine Challenge Fund (part of the ERDF’s European and Structural Funds Growth Programme 2014 – 2020) which was set up to boost marine innovation in Cornwall.

The arm will form part of a new Autonomous Synchronised Stabilised Platform (ASSP) to enable ASVs to execute intervention tasks – e.g. equipment transfers, survey and inspection, or launch and recovery operations.   Space-stabilisation technology as used in STL’s Neptune personnel access system will be further developed to permit synchronous-stabilisation between two moving platforms, such as an ASV and another vessel, a floating wind-turbine, a wave-energy converter, or other target with wave-induced motion.

A stabilised robotic arm will also find applications on-board manned vessels.  For example, launch and recovery of underwater ROVs and AUVs is labour-intensive and potentially hazardous to personnel and the equipment itself.  A robotic arm could increase efficiency, safety, availability, and expand the weather window for operations.

‘How about using a robot arm?’
Photo Credit: NOAA Photo Library (CC Licence)


The project is in its early stages.  Keep an eye on our NEWS page for updates.


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