A Review: Challenges and Opportunities for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics in the Offshore Wind Sector

by   Daniel Mitchell, et al.

A global trend in increasing wind turbine size and distances from shore is emerging within the rapidly growing offshore wind farm market. In the UK, the offshore wind sector produced its highest amount of electricity in the UK in 2019, a 19.6 production further, targeting a 74.7 reflected in recent Crown Estate leasing rounds. With such tremendous growth, the sector is now looking to Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (RAI) in order to tackle lifecycle service barriers as to support sustainable and profitable offshore wind energy production. Today, RAI applications are predominately being used to support short term objectives in operation and maintenance. However, moving forward, RAI has the potential to play a critical role throughout the full lifecycle of offshore wind infrastructure, from surveying, planning, design, logistics, operational support, training and decommissioning. This paper presents one of the first systematic reviews of RAI for the offshore renewable energy sector. The state-of-the-art in RAI is analyzed with respect to offshore energy requirements, from both industry and academia, in terms of current and future requirements. Our review also includes a detailed evaluation of investment, regulation and skills development required to support the adoption of RAI. The key trends identified through a detailed analysis of patent and academic publication databases provide insights to barriers such as certification of autonomous platforms for safety compliance and reliability, the need for digital architectures for scalability in autonomous fleets, adaptive mission planning for resilient resident operations and optimization of human machine interaction for trusted partnerships between people and autonomous assistants.



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