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You are here:  Home / News Archives / 2009 / July 2009

Ireland launches New Submersible and Subsea Technologies

Vice President Research Professor Brian Fitzgerald with Cllr. Denis McCarthy, Deputy Mayor of Limerick at the launch of RovLatis

The Mobile & Marine Robotics Research Centre at the University of Limerick performed trials and demonstrations of their new Remotely Operated Vehicle, ROVLATIS, along with new mission support technologies in Limerick Dock today.  This underwater robot has been developed for ocean exploration and commercial operations in inshore waters and as far as the edge of the continental shelf at depths of 1,000m or more. At a cost of over €1 million, the submersible is the first of its kind designed, built and tested in Ireland. 

The development of this vehicle represents a large investment by state agencies in subsea survey platform technologies for testing and trialling new instrumentation and sensors.  It further builds on the existing capability for survey and inspection operations within the state.

Speaking at the event UL Vice President Research, Professor Brian Fitzgerald said "I am delighted to be here to support the work of the Mobile & Marine Robotics Research Centre. It is wonderful to see the culmination of research efforts by this group, the only Underwater Marine Technology Research Centre in the Irish University sector, now resulting in a high-profile public event showcasing our research in this area at the University of Limerick. The international market for new R&D in sub-sea technologies is large and growing, and the scientific, offshore energy and military sectors have all shown considerable interest in the innovations developed by the MMRRC." Professor Fitzgerald was joined by Cllr. Denis McCarthy, Deputy Mayor of Limerick to officiate the launch.  

Investors and prospective partners from industry and ocean research eagerly listened on the deck of the Shannon 1 (Shannon Foynes Port Company's multi cat) as they were given demonstrations of cutting-edge technologies in Vehicle Control, Sonar Systems, Real-time Simulation and Remote Visualisation of the underwater world.  Dr Daniel Toal, Director of MMRRC, said at the event "With this world leading Smart ROV we now look forward to the ocean challenges ahead in deployment of ROVLATIS in collaboration with partners in activities such as marine archaeology, marine habitat monitoring and  protection, and in support of off shore energy sector development ."

The Mobile & Marine Research Centre is forging commercial partnerships both in Ireland and internationally to introduce innovative new underwater technologies to the marine sector.


Vice President Research Professor Brian Fitzgerald watches with Cllr. Denis McCarthy, Deputy Mayor of Limerick as Dr Daniel Toal, Director of MMRRC lowers RovLatis into the Shannon

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