ORCA Hub Outreach

ORCA hub interactive exhibit at Royal Society
Robots in the danger zone exhibit at The Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition in London, July 2019

The ORCA Hub was a collaborative project led by the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics (Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh), in collaboration with Imperial College London and the Universities of Oxford and Liverpool. The ORCA Hub brought together internationally leading experts to create robotic and artificial intelligence solutions to the offshore energy sector. Throughout the project, researchers from across the Hub created activities and events to inspire the next generation, drive dialogue around challenges and solutions and share their research

Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition

In July 2019, the ORCA Hub team took part in The Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition in London with their interactive exhibit 'Robots in the danger zone'

With more than 22 exhibits exploring the very latest advances in science, and access to hundreds of scientists, the Summer Science Exhibition offered a unique opportunity to explore the science shaping our future with the people making it happen. 

ORCA's interactive exhibit showed in miniature the goals of the hub's research and how robots can be used in hazardous offshore environments for guidance, navigation and control. The aim of the exhibition was to provide a hands-on experience for visitors using interactive technology and features three interactive zones including a small-scale mock-up oil platform and wind turbines. Visitors to the stand had an opportunity to drive Cozmo robots and over the weekend the ANYmal robot was at the Royal Society building entrance greeting all exhibit visitors.

Find out more about the interactive exhibit in their short film.

What are ORCA's goals?

The Hub's primary goal is to use robotic systems and Artificial Intelligence to revolutionise Asset Integrity Management for the offshore energy sector through the provision of game-changing, remote solutions which are readily integratable with existing and future assets and sensors, and that can operate and interact safely in autonomous or semi-autonomous modes in complex and cluttered environments.

The key research objective is to develop technologies that enable reliable, robust and certifiable robot assisted asset inspection, autonomous decision making and intervention capabilities for the offshore domain, with specific focus on challenges inherent to this extreme and unpredictable environment across the aerial, topside and marine domain.

The project will develop robotics solutions which enable accurate mapping of, navigation around and interaction with offshore assets that support the deployment of sensors networks for asset monitoring.

Human-machine systems will be able to co-operate with remotely located human operators through an intelligent interface that manages the cognitive load of users in these complex, high-risk situations.

Robots and sensors will be integrated into a broad asset integrity information and planning platform that supports self-certification of the assets and robots.