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Hydromea pioneers subsea access with portable underwater robotics and through-water wireless communi

Hydromea is at the end of an exciting journey at TechX, the top energy accelerator based in Aberdeen, hosted by the Oil & Gas Technology Center (OGTC). Over 16 weeks Hydromea and 11 other startups have been benefiting from an unfair advantage with world-class workshops, seminars and extensive access to the industry experts across the entire upstream value chain within the offshore energy sector. KPMG, Pinset Masons, Bob Keiller, Marks&Clarks, QAD and many other outstanding companies and individuals have added to the intensity and richness of the program. Top senior executives have been matched to startups for mentoring and advice. Hydromea came into the program bringing over 15 years of fundamental research and expertise in portable robotics and through-water wireless communication technology. Through the intense round of expert interviews, the industry professionals asked us to solve the challenge of eliminating the necessity of humans entering into the confined spaces on vessels and FPSOs. In particular, the inspections of infrastructure-rich confined spaces, like ballast water tanks, carry significant cost (up to GBP 200’000 per tank) and safety risks today. This is a great challenge that hits the sweet spot of Hydromea’s expertise. With the in-house puzzle pieces already commercialized or in the final stages of development, Hydromea can readily put together a system that would help the vessel operator reduce the number of personnel involved in a mandatory inspection from 5 to 2, avoid a confined tank entry all together and eliminate the need to drain, dry and ventilate it. Hydromea’s focus is to develop a purpose-built system that would be able to take HD scans of the interior of a ballast water tank and take wall thickness measurements. In order to achieve this, Hydromea is developing a tether-less semi-autonomous underwater drone which will use situational awareness algorithms to navigate a tank and photo-telemetry software to provide 3D heat maps of spots requiring maintenance. There are over 800’000 ballast water tanks in the world that require regularly mandatory inspection. The system will also be appropriate for many more other confined spaces, so the market size is significant. Hydromea put together an animation to show the concept in action on an FPSO ballast water tank example. Come visit us at SPE Offshore Europe trade show in Aberdeen, stand 1AB51!


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