Project Page

SmartTouch: Towards Autonomous Subsea Robotics for Underwater Pipeline Inspection

Implementing Organization

Subsea Systems Institute


DWH Project Funding


Known Leveraged Funding


Funding Organization

The U.S. Department of Treasury

Funding Program

The RESTORE Act Funds Bucket 5: Centers of Excellence Research Grant Program


Project Category


Project Actions

Engineering and/or Construction

Targeted Resources


Project Description

While subsea pipelines may be engineered to withstand years of high pressure and high temperatures, unexpected events can prematurely cause failure of pipeline structures. Such events are ideally mitigated by timely maintenance and inspection of subsea pipeline structures. However, such routine actions can be excessively costly and when the divers are involved, the issue of safety becomes a major consideration. The goal of this project is to develop transformative robotic and SmartTouch sensing technology, that will lead to a time efficient and cost effective system for underwater pipeline inspection. Tasks will be to develop SmartTouch sensing, design dexterous robotic manipulator for ROVs, develop force feedback sensing and grasping control, and conduct comprehensive testing.


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