In the last century, we have witnessed the construction of innumerable large industrial infrastructures, due to the development of the industry and the consequent multiplication of the installations. This has raised a problem in the field of inspection, maintenance and industrial safety, as companies demand more control and lower prices, in addition to avoiding risk situations for their workers. This can be seen, for example, in critical infrastructures such as ports, airports or offshore structures. However, it is a widespread need in the industrial sector. It is a challenge that has existed for a long time and that the robotics of services has been able to interpret to propose a solution.
Precisely, IXION has been working for several years in the development of an Intelligent Integral Inspection and Industrial Safety System by means of autonomous unmanned vehicles, which revolves around an Integral Control Center that centralizes the information acquired by the vehicles and also the Complemented with data acquired from fixed sensor networks (cameras or other sensors). This Center has been designed on the basis of the Monitoring and Control system developed for critical infrastructures of the European Space Agency (ESA) Ground Segment (satellite monitoring stations and power plants). The objective of the Monitoring and Control systems is to facilitate and reduce the workload on those responsible for the operation and maintenance of the infrastructure, freeing them from routine, complex or risky tasks. For this, the highest level of automation is sought in the management of the same. In addition, our solution is based on a comprehensive concept of supervision tasks, so that it can be used not only to monitor the instrumentation in the plant, but also to supervise the infrastructure (intelligent industrial safety) and inspection of its In order to facilitate and automate industrial maintenance tasks as far as possible.
Taking a Port as an example of infrastructure, it becomes evident the need for integration of autonomous vehicles, both terrestrial and aerial or submarine, although the amount depends directly on the size and nature of the installation. Each of the platforms is equipped with the appropriate instrumentation for the mission for which they have been designed.
Here are the details:
UAV Security System for Intelligent Industrial Inspection
The Autonomous Intelligent Vehicles developed by IXION are multirotor type UAVs that carry out pre-programmed inspection and maintenance tasks automatically and repeatable according to the desired frequency. In addition, easy and safe manual inspection is possible with our automatic devices that aid navigation, etc.). Thanks to artificial vision analytics adapted to the specific inspection points, it is possible to detect defectology automatically and to take measurements, easily scheduling different events.
UAVs for Industrial Safety and Security
The system performs fully automatic perimeter surveillance rounds that enable unattended surveillance. Intelligent industrial safety allows the detection of people, vehicles or heat sources in predetermined zones and the automatic sending of alarms to the Central.
Another common functionality is provided by the ACUDE System, for emergency support, whereby the vehicle interrupts its mission or is activated automatically to go to the alarm location and obtain additional information that will send in real time to the Control Center.
Underwater Vehicles for Industrial Inspection
Submarine unmanned vehicles can be fully autonomous (AUV), remotely tele-operated (ROV) or hybrids. They have advanced capabilities that allow them to execute their functions in a safe, simple and effective way. For this, we designed a Mission Processor that controls the specific instrumentation for the inspection of industrial infrastructures. In addition, with our Control System, Navigation and Mission, we provide the vehicle with an intelligence on board that is essential for them to carry out their tasks with maximum performance.
UGV for Intelligent Industrial Safety
Our UGV performs automatic perimetral surveillance rounds, previously programmed on the map of the area or critical infrastructure in question. The autonomous vehicle is able to detect specific elements and can generate alarms. The IXION UGV can also function unattended and perform night surveillance tasks.
With our Integral system of intelligent industrial safety and inspection, based on advanced technologies, we can work so that the industry and society can easily take advantage of the incorporation of new technologies, increasing efficiency and safety, and reducing costs and risks. Its best allies are robotics services and unmanned vehicles.