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Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology

KIOST Hosts Opening Ceremony for Underwater Construction Robotics Demonstration Center

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  • Date : 2017-06-16
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On June 16 (Friday), the Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST, President Hong Gi-hoon) announced the opening ceremony of the Underwater Construction Robotics Demonstration Center in Heunghae-eup in Pohang, Gyeongsangbuk-do.


The center was established as part of the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries’ project to develop underwater construction robots for ocean development. With the support of Gyeongsangbuk-do and Pohang City, the center was established on a 10,000-square-meter plot and equipped with various research facilities and water tanks to test the performance of underwater construction robots. The operation of the center will be overseen by KIOST.

* Underwater construction robots for ocean development

① Light ROVs (remotely operated vehicles): robots that conduct precise investigations of underwater environments as well as repair and maintenance work
② Heavy ROVs: robots used to lay cable on the ocean floor and install underwater structures
③ Track-based ROVs: heavy robots used to lay pipeline on the ocean floor and other work


The Underwater Construction Robotics Demonstration Center is equipped with a large, 10-meter-deep water tank where underwater robots can be launched and brought back to shore, a circulating water tank capable of generating currents with flow velocities of up to 3.4 knots, and cutting-edge equipment for measuring the positions of objects underwater. With these facilities, the center will carry out performance tests for the various underwater construction robots that are being developed by KIOST.


Technologies for underwater construction robots are essential to the construction of offshore structures, such as offshore plants and wind farms, which are rapidly growing in number across the world. Other developed countries are already using various underwater construction robots in the field, but projects in Korea have been carried out with imported or rented equipment.


“If our underwater construction robots pass the performance tests conducted at the Underwater Construction Robotics Demonstration Center, complete the ocean field tests, and are successfully developed, Korea’s level of underwater construction equipment technology will come to about 85 percent of that of developed countries by 2021,” explained Hong Gi-hoon, the president of KIOST. He added, “With this technology, we will be able to increase the efficiency of the construction, repair, and maintenance of offshore plants, wind farms, and other such structures in the new marine industry and reduce the costs involved in renting equipment from overseas, which averages about KRW 40 billion a year.”



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Last Update : 2020-03-07