MIMRee Project

MIMRee

Project

The Multi-Platform Inspection Maintenance and Repair in Extreme Environments 

The Multi-Platform Inspection Maintenance and Repair in Extreme Environments (MIMRee) project team is developing a fully autonomous intelligent robotic platform to plan and execute inspection and repair missions without the need for an offshore human presence. With a team of robots to do the manual work in extreme environments, cost and health and safety risks can be significantly reduced.

The robotic platform being developed is comprised of the following systems:

Onshore Central Operation



  • An onshore central operation which provides human operators with information, such as system status, gathered inspection data and interface for issuing automatically generated mission plans.

Inspection, Maintenance and Repair (IMR) Robot



  • An IMR robot including a hexpod robot, NDT inspection instruments and a repair arm are used to carry out inspection and repair missions on the surface of a wind turbine blade

Unmanned Aerial System (UAS)

  • A UAS including a drone and a mechatronic interface for deploying and recovering the IMR robot on and from the surface of a wind turbine blade

Autonomous Surface Vessel (ASV)

  • An autonomous surface vessel (ASV) which enables autonomous transportation, charging and deployment of the UAS and IMR robot.

The The University of Manchester worked closely with other project partners on the development of a mechatronic system for deploying and recovering the IMR robot. The proposed system consists of three subsystems: a robot deployment interface (RDI), a skyhook for robot recovery and an OLAM mounted on the robot to provide coupling interfaces for the other two subsystems.


An IMR robot secured in the undercarriage of the UAV via RDI and OLAM. 

Skyhook installed on an UAV.

In 2021, in collaboration with The University of Bristol and Royal Holloway University of London, the prototypes were manufactured, tested and demonstrated in a test facility in ORE Catapults. The system was tested with an IMR robot mockup of mass 2.3 kg provided by Bladebug Ltd., a UAV of mass 15 kg developed by The University of Bristol and a centralised AI planning software developed by Royal Holloway University of London. The demonstration showed the developed prototype was able to deploy the mock-up robot onto a static wind turbine blade and autonomously recover the robot.

The IMR robot mockup provided by Bladebug Ltd. is held by RDI and OLAM in the undercarriage of the UAV provided by the University of Bristol.

The skyhook prototype is installed on the UAV provided by the University of Bristol resting on the landing pad.

OLAM prototype is installed on the IRM robot mockup provided by Bladebug Ltd., resting on the surface of a glider wing.

Video footage of the robot deployment demonstration in ORE Catapults test facility.

Video footage of the robot recovery demonstration in ORE Catapults test facility.

MIMRee concept of The MIMRee scenario animation.