Why Hydropower plants need underwater drone inspections

Hydropower is the most commonly used renewable energy source, accounting for around 17% of all global energy production.

In the U.S.A. more electricity is produced by hydroelectric facilities and dams than all the combination wind, solar and geothermal power.

Yet many of these facilities and plants are among the oldest power plants , with the average installation in service for over 64 years.

As these aging structures near the end of their design life, the need to detect repairs is becoming increasingly critical. The pressure is on to continue to keep the lights on, not just for the energy needs of today, but also for the needs of the future.

Utility owners, asset managers and contractors are gradually turning to drones, unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) fitted with sonar optical sensors, cameras, infrared imaging and other sensors.

These systems provide a safe, secure and cost-effective solution versus hiring or deploying professional dive teams for emergency or routine inspections.

And these underwater 4K drones are playing a key role in Alleviating downtime, reducing outages and preventing disastrous accidents.

There are occasions when an underwater drone ROV is the first and only option. Dropping 100 feet or more below the surface, for instance, is extremely dangerous for traditional divers and manual methods. In deep water situations , enclosed spaces or unknown environments can be extremely dangerous for a diver and only drones can safely do the job.

In comparison to the high costs and lead times associated with professional dive teams, the OoKeani-luure advanced Underwater ROV bundle allows preventive and proactive maintenance checks at any time to prolong the life of the dam or asset.

Many of these facilities were supposed to be replaced by now, so it’s either 24/7/365 proactively monitoring and inspecting or risk a public relations disaster and possible human catastrophe.

Underwater drone ROVs are going to get into tough places at a much lower cost and in a much quicker and efficient way. They help create a strategy for high-priority facilities and structures to decide how to avoid major disasters and what can be left alone for a while.

The ability to remotely assess the condition of hydro structures is incredibly efficient and cost-saving,” Blueye CTO Jonas Follesø said. “The Blueye Pro is small, so it can be easily transported and can inspect inside tight spaces where humans can’t reach. At the same time, it’s also powerful and robust.”

Many regulatory guidelines require asset owners to become increasingly proactive with inspections, thus reliance on underwater inspections utilizing ROVs’ will only increase the added benefits.

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How can cruise lines recover in 2021 ?
cruise ship

Covid-19 has told a very valuable narrative for the cruise industry in 2020 and the future.

It has crippled one of the industry’s brightest stars. And with High-profile outbreaks, no-sail orders and lock-downs it has also taken the crowns of several smaller brands, thus drastically reversing the fortunes of the most dominant players.

Revenues dropped around 85-99% for the three major operators and the number of passengers is projected to decline from over 30 million in 2019 to very low millions in 2020.

cruise shpis

The industry became especially vulnerable to Covid-19, but with some better safety and security precautions and a little bit of contactless Facial Recognition & AI software, it could come back as strong as ever.

Nobody expects that the cruise industry will suddenly bounce back bigger and brighter than ever tomorrow though.

It must restore trust and confidence—with passengers, authorities and the general public. The leaders in the industry must progressively extend operations with a strategy that emphasizes on safety, security and overall protection and reduction of the risk of infection. And not just Covid-19, but what how can they adapt and be smarter for future viruses or pandemics.

cool curise

When a cruise ship has been inspected, licensed, disinfected and regularly audited for all of the above to ensure that management processes, policies, routines and risk-mitigation measures meet with comparable hospital and NASA like requirements, confidence can be regained.

Millions of cruise fans are excited to get back on board and travel, but they are still nervous about infection. They are nervous about the spread. They are nervous about surviving.

As part of the marketing and advertisement strategy, cruise ship leaders should rely on trustworthy grooming , disinfecting, inspection and cleaning processes and rituals when describing how this would not compromise the overall traveler experience, so peace of mind is paramount.


Covid-19 has shown the world that while we are all connected, it is also very very divided.

Different countries have adopted very different approaches and policies to combating it.

At the same time, evidence suggests the virus takes hold in different places, at varying times and in all sorts of ways.

shipping cruise

Ports, harbors and port authorities are keen to show their commitment to the safety and security of society and can demand their own requirements, generating uncertainty for cruise operators.

For example, Singapore and the Singapore Tourism Board designed and developed
Cruise-Safe. It’s a policy and procedure framework benchmarked against local and global standards and protocols for which DNV GL was entrusted with the creation of a cruise compliance audit and certification program.

The framework and standard was based on the experience of specific credentials that came from more than 600 hospitals.

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AI for physical security to help ports, harbors, boating & marinas

Human beings can’t really multi-task. We imagine we can and are, but it’s not really multitasking. While we do watch tv as we check our email and text a friend or colleague while watching our kids do virtual schooling all the while trying to prepare lunch… See we are multitasking and it sounds great in theory, but we aren’t really multitasking. We’re just distracted and busy.

Imagine doing all those things while trying to identify 100 containers or boats or people or fish. Or help secure or save a life? Distracted driving is frowned upon. Distracted lives have become our norm though even as many worked virtually.

Our brain takes in light sensor activities and integrates all the prior knowledge and the “bit” in the middle is what our brain thinks and sees. It also is really only concentrated on one Task at a time in a procedural step by step manner. And as we get older our body and mind starts slowing down. It’s why many of the professional Egame video game stars are young. Their brain rapid click twitch muscles and neurons work faster. As we are many video game skills get worse by default. We See it with professional athletes as they age. Some adapt , some don’t. Some pretend they are still 22.

Humans can’t detect millions of faces or objects or assets or sounds efficiently. There is no magic way for humans to optimize or scale the way we watch 10 cameras, much less 50 or more cameras all at once. Add the fact all the above comes with the responsibility to send out alerts and notifications; communication with the right folks; and add the determination of detailed actionable insights to the mix and it becomes far more complicated. Why put the safety and security of such calculations and predictions at greater risk ?

Sometimes seconds can save lives or assets. Or notice a bolt out of thousands of bolts is slightly off and might need to be fixed today not Next month. Humans aren’t great at fusing data and images and videos and historical trends and sure not in some three dimensional 360 degree view across many docks or marinas or boats.

Computers are built to multitask and identify millions of images and videos in milliseconds. Artificial intelligence Algorithms are designed to scale and spot trends. AI systems aren’t going to replace humans, but it will make their lives and jobs more efficient and maybe even save lives or harbors and assets.

AI systems can simulate and spot trends, process more data and images , improve the clarity of video and audio analytics, pull far more information and intelligence from a variety of sources , improve decision making , and cut down on false positives .

Maritime AI powered video analytics and surveillance simulation systems open up new Access control plans , offer better optimized routing solutions , improve disaster response plans , and open up the possibilities to simulate millions of ‘what if this happens’ scenarios. Imagine being able to spot outliers at a port or harbor, identify unusual activities. What can detecting, counting and identifying containers, vessels , hulls and faces do for your organization or marina ?. And do it at enormously large big data scale.

More information, more accurate , better reaction time , easier to scale and predict trends

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How can Artificial Intelligence and Computer Vision be used by ports?

The key questions facing ports, harbors and the broader maritime industry are the challenge of handling an ever growing quantity of cargo in a healthy, effective and environmentally friendly way.

Not only are more ships and vessels calling in at ports, but these ships are also ramping up in size and capacity, along with the amount of data, image and video information being produced and processed. Internet of things , automation and artificial intelligence are key to the digital transformation of intelligent and smart ports and harbors.

The knowledge from big data images and videos are itself a challenge, as is finding the best ways to use them for actionable insights, alerts and predictions.

Ports look to artificial intelligence (AI) and video analytics as a way forward more often than not, but what is AI and how can AI video analytics help ports profit from it?

For ports, what are the main benefits of AI ?

At shore, in the harbors, on land and in the air, Artificial intelligence and computer vision are changing transportation. It has the ability to minimize human error, make tasks more efficient and quicker as well as reduce pollution and carbon footprints.

AI for a more sustainable maritime industry and humanity is not just story. Artificial intelligence itself, however is one aspect of a wider framework for digitizing, improving and optimizing port and harbor operations. Smart intelligent ports and harbors are changing the maritime industry.

The same AI solutions used by some of the world’s largest ports, especially Hamburg, Rotterdamn, Singapore, and Los Angeles, are improving business operations, security and safety challenges now.

One way this enhances activities is to develop a framework of support for proactive decision-making based on a predictive behavioral model. It uses methods of machine learning, data science and deep learning to process data and image recognition while video knowledge analytics is processes in a much more efficient manner.

Computers and AI are helping seafarers and harbor masters and security guards and many others with their jobs and challenges. Computer vision video analytics solutions train and test models based on the massive amount of image, video, facial and audio recognition techniques , and much more, as well as historical details for data science and advanced analytics.

Predicting and forecasting the future

Data, images, and videos are collected, organized, transformed and processed; AI is then used to define trends in the logistics supply chain and provide detailed forecast times for the arrival of boats, lorries and containers at terminals, thereby facilitating greater preparation and a more efficient safer process flow.

An AI platform can predict that a container leaving a port six weeks from now is 67.5 percent more likely than average to go missing. It is possible to find an alternate route and suggest it within minutes.

Computer Vision solutions for image and object recognition can be used to forecast potential equipment requirements, safety violations, threat detections , heavy equipment safety issues and risks , even Covid-19 close proximity alerts. AI also can predict and alert based on long-term and short term yard use, identify containers and other assets , identify rust and other under water ship and dock issues with drones, monitor employees, alert proper channels on damage to containers, number of visits to gates, and much more.

Efficiency and stability in ports and terminals are only two major advantages of AI; the other, perhaps greater, is that it can connect various stakeholders in the maritime and supply chain channels.

By aligning their individual digital transformation roadmaps, an AI-enabled smart port and harbor ecosystem driven by Port Community Systems and Port authorities may improve cooperation between various parties, such as the port authorities, cargo owners, third-party logistics providers, container ship companies, and more.

This in turn, might provide mutually beneficial opportunities for efficiency improvement and waste reduction because integrated AI and Video analytics solutions allows data to be exchanged by parties and provides a common interface for observations, forecasts and constraints allowed by AI.

It is evident that AI has great potential for use in ports and terminals, but there are concerns about how to use it. What data elements, such as image recognition or robotics, would be most important to terminals in the future is key to this. As the industry has seen with automation, there is no process or technique that fits the needs of every port or terminal. Therefore, ports and terminals should be hyper-aware of just what they need and where the technology can best be used when applying AI tools to operations.

Pagarba solutions specializes in AI and computer vision based video analytics for the maritime industry and boating and marine industries. Contact us today for a free strategy session.

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