Vallourec and Forssea join forces to facilitate the inspection of subsea pipelines
Vallourec, a world leader in premium tubular solutions, is working with Forssea Robotics, a startup specializing in smart robotics and visual positioning, and iXblue, a company recognized for its expertise in inertial navigation, subsea positioning and autonomous technologies – to develop a pipeline inspection solution combining subsea drones and the use of visual markers, removing the need for surface vessels.
“This technology had already proven itself on large structures in the field”, said Jean-Guillaume Besse, Vallourec R&D project leader. “Back in January of this year, we did a first sea trial on much smaller surfaces in the South of France. The tests were a success, proving that these markers, combined with iXblue’s and Forssea’s expertise, can be used to provide accurate subsea positioning without the need of acoustic systems".
The advanced solution is a key milestone for future pipeline inspection and could be considered as a next step in the Vallourec smart offering, further facilitating operators’ asset management.
Forssea announces that Ifremer—the French National Institute for Ocean Science—recently acquired an equity interest in the company. This will allow Forssea to accelerate diversification in the sectors of marine renewable energy and of deepsea scientific exploration.
Since its creation in 2016, Forssea has developed smart ROVs (Remotely Operated Vehicles) equipped with visual positioning sensors. Their proprietary ROV systems have recently reached final qualification with Oil & Gas offshore operators and contractors.
Ifremer anticipates these systems will have promising applications in the context of marine renewable energy and of oceanographic campaigns, especially when interacting with existing of future scientific deepwater observatories.
Parties are already discussing deployment of Forssea systems during the upcoming Ifremer scientific campaigns. Ifremer and Forssea will also continue and expand upon their collaboration in the field of resident robotics, long immersion cycles, and advanced imaging capabilities (including artificial intelligence and 3D photogrammetry).
Forssea appoints new sales rep. for the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) area
Forssea is pleased to announce that Shannon Giagnorio and Sottomarine Business Development Solutions has been appointed Sales Representant for the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) area, based in Houston.
Shannon is an experienced Oil & Gas and subsea professional with background within several international companies, including Forum Energy, MacArtney and Chevron Venture Capital Start-ups. She spent the last 3 years representing European and American companies so they could reach the oceanographic and offshore community in the Gulf of Mexico region.
Through Sottomarine BDS Shannon will be promoting Forssea’s new visual positioning systems and generating robotics service partnerships with the relevant operators.
”I am very proud to work with such an experienced and respected agent. After 4 R&D years, Forssea is starting a new phase with great commercial ambitions. The Gulf is a key area where we need a permanent presence. We believe this new crisis faced by our industry is urging the need for smarter and cheaper robotics solutions” said Gautier Dreyfus, co-founder and CEO of Forssea.
“We couldn’t be more pleased to be partnered with Forssea. Forssea’s offerings and vision for the future of visual positioning systems and robotics use are refreshingly innovative and sure to be a game changer for the industry. ” Shannon Giagnorio, President Sottomarine Business Development Solutions.
Forssea announces new light intervention and smart ROV for plug & play USV interfacing
The standard ARGOS version currently comes with “smart” piloting modes including latency management, auto-diagnosis features, dynamic positioning which is based on visual, acoustic and/or Inertial Navigation System/Doppler Velocity Log (INS/DVL) sensors and GO-TO features. Visual docking can be used to safely dock the ROV back inside its Tether Management System (TMS) especially in challenging weather conditions.
In addition to the Smart Piloting modes of ARGOS, the base system is supplied with a Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) surface control unit and therefore is perfectly adapted to be installed on an Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) with the capacity to perform either full autonomous operations or through the use of remote piloting from an on-shore control centre.
Gautier Dreyfus, CEO of Forssea explains, “We believe that the home for resident ROVs is not the seabed but USV. The requirements are similar: long immersions cycles and all electric design to reduce maintenance, supervised piloting mode with low latency, and autonomous features to deal with communication loss and pre-programmed operations such as pipe survey or asset inspection”.
Forssea's quick latching system tested on LBL beacons
KONGSBERG and SONARDYNE have recently collaborated with French underwater robotics startup FORSSEA to trial their «quick latching system » mounted upon a cNODE Maxi and Compatt 6+ LBL transponders. Tank tests have shown that the cage modification will enable offshore operators to use FORSSEA’s LBL new deployment and recovery method with very little acoustic perturbations. FORSSEA’s latching system could thus replace standard cages so that it can be grabbed by the ATOLL smart ROV from a smaller vessel of opportunity. This opens the door to faster, cheaper and safer operations.
FORSSEA ROBOTICS form exclusive partnership with SUBSEA TECHNOLOGY & RENTALS
As part of this partnership, STR has invested in Forssea Robotics Visual LOCalisation (V-LOC) Positioning technology, which will be available globally for operations. The V-LOC positioning system is a computer vision-based method able to track and position underwater markers with millimetric accuracy. The V-LOC technology is embedded inside an innovative camera, called the NAV CAM which mounted on a ROV system and markers attached onto subsea assets.
The real-time output can provide the operator with live asset’s heading and attitude, or relative distance between 2 structures.
Gautier Dreyfus, Co-founder and CEO, Forssea Robotics said, “STR is a well-respected, technology focused company. I firmly believe that by forming this partnership with STR, we will penetrate the global subsea positioning markets. Our teams share the same spirit and are passionate in delivering innovative solutions to our customers. I am convinced this is just a first step as we are already working on the next generations of visual positioning subsea systems.”
FORSSEA & DEEPOCEAN team up to develop subsea digital twin solutions
FORSSEA is proud to collaborate with DeepOcean to develop new digital twins services using 3D photogrammetry. The ARGOS smart vehicle will be upgraded to perform untethered autonomous visual acquisition. More to come soon!
FORSSEA and IXBLUE join forces to offer new revolutionary LBL deployment method
His new solution uses Forssea’s Atoll light-size autonomous docking system, designed to deploy and recover loads (up to 1 ton) from light opportunity offshore vessels, combined with iXblue’s DriX, a versatile USV offering outstanding endurance and unrivaled seakeeping performances (up to sea state 3). Using iXblue’s launch and recovery system and advanced autodocking capability, DriX can be deployed from any lifting device in sea states up to level 3. Thanks to its embedded Gaps pre-calibrated INS and USBL acoustic system with field-proven box-in capabilities, this new solution provides flexible, robust and highly accurate calibration to offshore companies.
Very agile, it does not require heavy logistical support and provides up to 70% savings compared to traditional methods. Stored into containers, all assets can be easily shipped to any operation in the world at very short notice and can be used from any light opportunity vessel equipped with a crane and with reduced crew onboard.
FORSSEA & GMS create a joint subsea vision laboratory
Offshore robotics company FORSSEA ROBOTICS chose GMS as main technical partner to certify its real-time visual positioning technologies. A joint laboratory will be created to develop a common offer covering camera calibration, subsea image treatment and innovative photogrammetry solutions.
FORSSEA ROBOTICS decided last year to adapt its Atoll ROV embedded visual docking technology into a stand-alone product. The company was already manufacturing and commercializing underwater cameras, mainly for R&D underwater vision applications.
The so-called V-LOC (Visual LOCalization) technology has been designed for quick and operational use. One operator sticks the marker on the structure and the camera computes the six-degree coordinates in real-time on the user screen.
“GMS track-record is very relevant when it comes to subsea. So much need to be implemented while too few photogrammetry experts are invited to the discussion table. Working with FORSSEA was quite natural, as their know-how and technology are very complementary to our expertise. And they are in the spotlight at the moment!” said Frédéric Jallon, Technical Director at GMS.
FORSSEA ROBOTICS successfully raises €2.4M to fund its subsea technologies qualifications
Offshore robotics startup FORSSEA ROBOTICS announced an investment of €2.4M led by the French VC firm IRDI-SORIDEC with additional funds coming from the family office SOPER and a team of international energy investors.
Part of the total funding came from the winning of several national innovation grants including the “Ship of the Future” program managed by the French Energy Agency (ADEME) and the I-Lab competition organized by the French public investment bank (BPI). This is FORSSEA’s second successful fundraising as the company already raised €500k in 2016.
The new funds will enable FORSSEA to undertake and complete sea qualifications of its Atoll vehicle in 2019.
“This funding will enable us to qualify our proprietary designed ATOLL vehicle as well as state-of-the-art underwater vision systems. We will undertake several trial sessions in October 2018 in shallow water, whereas the full depth equipment will be assembled early 2019 for deep water trials mid-year. Working offshore is a real challenge and this successful fund raising is an important milestone underpinning our ambition”, said Gautier Dreyfus, co-founder and CEO at FORSSEA.
FORSSEA ROBOTICS fait plonger les coûts de l’exploration sous-marine
Atoll, le petit robot mis au point par Forssea Robotics, qui s’amarre tout seul aux installations sous-marines, va diviser par dix les coûts d’exploration. De grands noms de l’offshore comme Technip ou Total ont été consultés pour la réalisation des prototypes.