Extremely successful test of underwater robot “Armus” was implemented

We are extremely happy, we attended in a memorable event – the successful testing of the second version of the best in the world in its class underwater robot for researching on the hulls of large vessels – its name is ARMUS – a development of Institute of Metal Science, Equipment and Technologies with Hydroaerodinamics Centre – Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

The ARMUS system presents a new approach for observation of the hull of large marine vessels providing fast, but at the same time very accurate and reliable method for underwater inspection, detection and identification of various threats. ARMUS is magnetic tracks based mobile robot capable to stick-on and move along iron surfaces and operate in extreme environmental conditions, including under the water surface. Among the main advantages of the ARMUS system is its ability to reduce significantly the time for hull inspection by providing in process estimation and assessment of the hull while the ship is in motion. This advantage reduces significantly the standby time of the ships when inspection of the hull is required before entering a port. On the other hand the process of inspection allows the vessels to be observed continuously during the voyage. Another important advantage of ARMUS is its capability to stay underwater as long as it is necessary. The system is powered and controlled directly by the vessel it inspects and may operate in long cycles without maintenance and recharge.

The robot was created under the leadership of academician Stefan Vodenicharov – leading Bulgarian security and defense scientist and professor Kiril Soychev. The chief designers of the robot are Professor Dr. Daniel Bratanov and Dr. Rumyana Mihaylova. Participants in the development of ARMUS are also engineer Valentin Naydenov (Navy captain of the reserve) and his colleagues from the group of Varna with a special contribution to the mechanical work of the different elements.

The test has gone through the following stages:

PHASE ONE: The motion of the underwater robot was tested. The robot was placed on a steel two-by-two-meter vertical plate. It moved in the horizontal plane in both directions (forward and backward), in the vertical plane (up and down) and turned in both directions.
The robot was remotely controlled by a cable that transmits both the required power supply (from the vessel’s power grid) and the control commands.

PHASE TWO: The underwater robot was tested by simulating the conditions of a moving ship. The robot moved during the movement of the ship.