Olis Robotics, which makes software for remotely controlling robots, announced today that it has partnered with Aleron Subsea, which builds remotely operated vehicles. The companies said their combined offerings will improve efficiencies for subsea manipulator applications, particularly in the oil and gas industry.
Seattle-based Olis Robotics, formerly known as BluHaptics Inc., spun out of the Applied Physics Lab at the University of Washington in 2013. The company initially focused on unexploded ordnance disposal for the U.S. Navy. The company soon expanded to remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) for offshore energy, multiple programs with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and land-based field robotics applications. After acquiring the Machine Learning Co. in 2018, BluHaptics renamed itself Olis Robotics.
Aberdeen, U.K.-based Aleron Subsea was founded in 2009 and is part of Aleron Group. It specializes in the design and manufacture of ROVs. Aleron Subsea’s product line includes the the AUXROV, TRACKROV, and soon-to-be-launched MultiROV systems. The company’s Gladiator control system can also act as an ROV upgrade package, replacing aging electronics and adding new capabilities.
Other units of Aleron Group include ROVQUIP, which provides provides ROV tooling sale and rental, as well as skid packages and tooling design capabilities. IMPAQ Technologies designs and builds subsea hydraulic power units (HPUs) for ROV operations.
Olis adds machine learning to remote-controlled manipulation
Aleron will lead sales, distribution, and support of Olis Robotics’ machine-learning ROV manipulator controllers.
Olis said its Master Controller provides value for ROV Inspection, repair, and maintenance (IRM) global market operators. The controller includes an intuitive interface for straightforward training and is designed to be easily integrated into new or upgraded ROVs, the company claimed. The Olis Master Controller (OMC) is available at a price point below the cost of replacing legacy controllers, it added.
“We’re leveraging technology we developed for NASA and missions to the moon to help revolutionize the subsea industry and deliver intuitive controls and machine learning pilot-assistive features that keep crew and equipment safe, along with saving time and money for offshore energy operations,” stated Don Pickering, CEO of Olis Robotics. “We’re seeing increased interest in our solution in these uncertain times for the oil industry.”
The company said its systems can replace legacy controls for ROV manipulators while increasing precision. Such updates can extend the life of expensive manipulator assets while also creating a foundation for future autonomous operations underwater, according to Ols.
Aleron to add OMC to modular MultiROV
Aleron will lead sales of Olis Robotics products for its retrofit and rental business. The company will also use the Olis Master Controller with the manipulators on its MultiROV product.
The MultiROV can be configured to meet changing operational requirements in a cost-effective way, said Aleron. The combination of Olis’ autonomy software with Aleron’s modular platform is intended to gives subsea operators the technologies to satisfy future IRM requirements.
“Aleron is excited about working with Olis Robotics and their new Olis Master Controller,” said David Currie, general manager of Aleron Subsea. “The next-generation master controller offers many features not currently available.”
“Olis’ software makes using the manipulator quicker, easier and safer,” he said. “The touch screen and vibrating pendant offer visual and touch feedback when the manipulator has reached limits, saving expensive damage or downtime. In these very cost-sensitive days, the features will help pay for themselves.”
Olis Robotics began selling the OMC in the third quarter of 2019. It said that additional capabilities using the one-touch machine training and task automation technologies will be available in fourth quarter of 2020.