The ORCA Hub: Explainable Offshore Robotics through Intelligent Interfaces

Helen Hastie, Katrin Lohan, Mike Chantler, David A. Robb, Subramanian Ramamoorthy, Ron Petrick, Sethu Vijayakumar, David Lane

We present the UK Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Hub for Offshore Robotics for Certification of Assets (ORCA Hub), a 3.5 year EPSRC funded, multi-site project. The ORCA Hub vision is to use teams of robots and autonomous intelligent systems (AIS) to work on offshore energy platforms to enable cheaper, safer and more efficient working practices. The ORCA Hub will research, integrate, validate and deploy remote AIS solutions that can operate with existing and future offshore energy assets and sensors, interacting safely in autonomous or semi-autonomous modes in complex and cluttered environments, co-operating with remote operators. The goal is that through the use of such robotic systems offshore, the need for personnel will decrease. To enable this to happen, the remote operator will need a high level of situation awareness and key to this is the transparency of what the autonomous systems are doing and why. This increased transparency will facilitate a trusting relationship, which is particularly key in high-stakes, hazardous situations.

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