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Company Launches World’s First Live 3D Subsea Streaming Technology

In a world-first, Rovco has launched a 3D image streaming technology it calls SubSLAM Live that allows clients to video and live stream 3D underwater pointclouds to any device in the world.

The stereo camera technology system sends images and 3D models of assets from the seabed to computer browsers in any location, offering users instantaneous access to information as inspection or construction is taking place. Rovco trialed the technology earlier in the year with an oil and gas supermajor; at a renewable wind farm; and, more recently, in 0.5 m of visibility at an ex-naval dockyard owned by Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult.

Iain Wallace, Rovco’s chief security officer, said, “To our knowledge, this technology is the first of its kind, anywhere in the world, to live stream from the seabed to a desk. We have been utilizing our SubSLAM technology for 1 year so far, but, with our ongoing investment in research and development, our latest capability of the system has revolutionized how subsea work can be carried out.”

During the final trials, the technology was lowered into a seawater-filled dock that contained sample assets from the subsea industry. Engineers used the state-of-the-art stereo camera system to capture high-definition video, allowing them to use the simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) system to build accurate 3D point cloud models while staff in an office 300 miles away directed the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) while keeping track of the ROV location and operations through their phones and laptops.

The company says the capabilities of this new technology will change the way the industry carries out underwater inspections. It can reduce time and cost and revolutionize the way engineers process data, allowing for faster data-driven decisions to be made regarding the integrity of subsea infrastructure.

“The model is compressed and progressively sent over a low-bandwidth < 256 Kb network link to a cloud server along with the ROV’s position,” Wallace said. “Authorized clients can then log into our highly secure data-delivery platform and view the live model, pulling the data from the cloud on-demand.”

The calibrated stereo camera system model is automatically scaled, meaning that users not only can view the model but also can take live measurements of the assets. The system works within a standard web browser.

“We are now able to deliver higher quality and faster results to our customers with this technology than is possible with any other subsea 3D system,” Wallace said. “It is also a step towards proving that our online data-delivery platform is the perfect tool for hosting, viewing, and manipulating all varieties of subsea data.”


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