The first European marine robot testing center in a real environment will be created on the coast of Viana do Castelo. According to a note sent to the press, the Atlantis Test Center will enable the validation of robotic solutions in the most extreme climatic conditions of the Atlantic Ocean, especially in the inspection and maintenance work of offshore wind infrastructure.
Offshore wind energy is important for reducing dependence on fossil fuels and for the decarbonisation of society. Europe's installed capacity is expected to triple over the next decade, as a result of new concessions, the growth of wind farms and the development of new technologies. Portugal will make a strong contribution to the growth of this area, with the installation and start-up of the operation of the first floating offshore wind farm off continental Europe, with the largest turbine in the world based on a floating platform, the WindFloat Atlantic.
The European project Atlantis – The Atlantic Testing Platform for Maritime Robotics: New Frontiers for Inspection and Maintenance of Offshore Energy Infrastructures, led by INESC TEC and with the participation of EDP and support from several technological and academic partners, reinforces the development of monitoring technologies and maintenance of wind infrastructure at sea. The project will create a pioneering platform in Europe that aims to demonstrate the technologies and robotic solutions that are essential for the inspection and maintenance of offshore wind farms around the world.
“The Atlantis Test Center will allow us to quantify the added value of new robotic technology and accelerate its integration in the marine wind energy sector. The project is based on a true symbiosis between the energy and marine robotics industries. This innovation center will be installed in Viana do Castelo and will be of strategic importance for the scientific route of robotics across Europe ”, says Andry Maykol Pinto, project coordinator and researcher at INESC TEC.
Atlantis will focus on the inspection, maintenance and repair of offshore wind infrastructures, where several autonomous robots (underwater, surface and aerial) will be developed and tested in various industrial scenarios, such as, for example, in the inspection of mooring cables, monitoring underwater structures or cleaning turbines. The use of robotic solutions in this sector aims to mitigate risks and reduce the costs of operating and maintaining offshore wind farms, particularly in deep waters, also contributing to the reduction of the standardized cost of energy (Levelized Cost of Energy).