Offshore Low Touch Energy Robotics & Autonomous Systems
The Offshore Low Touch Energy Robotics and Autonomous Systems (OLTER) project aims to deliver a Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) service, to scale and commercialise robotics for use in offshore energy environments.
The project aims to deliver operational efficiency, environmental, and health and safety benefits by substituting activities traditionally undertaken through human interventions primarily in operations and maintenance.
This will result in wider benefits from the acceleration of RAS commercialisation, such as enhanced economic output and activity, supporting high-skilled and productive employment, research and development, and the attraction of further investment into Scotland.
Supporting the RAS market by establishing a new Testing and Certification Centre
The project will establish a purpose-built facility that will mimic offshore environments in a controlled location, presenting entities in the RAS ecosystem with a space to test their technologies against conditions they may face in offshore deployments.
This ultimately seeks to support RAS developers to satisfy themselves, regulators, users and public bodies that their RAS can safely and reliably complete the tasks they are programmed to undertake.
This will be supplemented by two digital interventions:
- Shared Data Platform – which will host data gathered by OLTER, which can be used to help ‘train’ RAS algorithms to enhance their safety, reliability and assurance.
- A High-Fidelity Digital Twin – providing a ‘virtual sandbox’ environment for entities to test their RAS, understand potential failure points and better understand the interactions their RAS may have with the offshore environment, before undertaking live demonstrations and physical testing.
These offerings can help accelerate the nascent RAS market, also benefiting those outside the offshore energy sector, as the lessons and advancements enabled through OLTER could spill-over into other markets, creating routes for new employment and support the aspiration for Scotland to be home to a successful RAS cluster.
The Knowledge Portal
OLTER will act as a conduit between the RAS developer community, RAS users, testing and standards bodies, regulators and the public sector, to ensure findings generated under OLTER are disseminated across the landscape.
This will be facilitated through the Knowledge Portal, which will:
- Feed into regulatory development and support the development of standards being set across different RAS domains and functions. Support the ecosystem better understand the ‘art of the possible’ in terms of RAS applications (both current and future)
- Aid the understanding of the potential benefits and costs to RAS adoption, ultimately paving the way to enhanced deployment of the technologies
OLTER is part of the Net Zero Technology Transition Programme
The OLTER project is one of seven projects currently underway through the Net Zero Technology Transition Programme (NZTTP), to transform the North Sea energy system with a focus on emissions reduction.
NZTTP was formed in 2021, when a total of £16.5 million was awarded to the Net Zero Technology Centre by UK Government to accelerate a range of energy transition projects that will help deliver Scotland’s net-zero economy.