Products / Remote Control & Autonomy

Remote and Autonomous Crane Control System

Since late 2017, Aker BP and Optilift has collaborated on developing technology for remote controlled- and autonomous offshore crane operations. The development has been performed in stages, maturing the technology readiness level (TRL) where among other a scale crane, simulator and furthermore a full-size offshore crane from Palfinger has been built and used to test and demonstrate the technology.

During the first public demonstration in December 2019, Responsible Technology Lead at Aker BP, and owner of the autonomous crane project Stian Ødegaard, said the development of remote and autonomous cranes is a core part of the ongoing digital focus at the company.

– There are a lot of dangerous situations that can arise around the rough environment on deck, and by removing personnel from these zones we will significantly increase their safety. Autonomous operations will also create a more efficient workflow for us and the industry as a whole, he explained in December 2019.

The autonomous crane control system consists of elements developed by both Aker BP and Optilift, and is set up to be able to perform lifts of cargo without the need for human interaction. After successful demonstrations of the technology using a scale crane, current step is to perform full-size crane testing and further maturation of the technology.

During summer 2021 tests were being performed at Egersund on a full-size electric lattice boom crane from Palfinger, with a further plan to continue testing offshore early 2022, once the crane has been installed offshore at the Valhall field of Aker BP. Read article describing the tests here, and see video from Egersund-test below.

See video demonstration from a demo-day in 2019 with the scale crane below.