Marine Inspection Robotic Assistant System

Scientific Leader:
Project leader:
Dr.-Ing. Markus Eich
Contact person:

The EU-funded project MINOAS develops a new concept for the inspection of marine vessels. This concept combines state-of-the-art technologies with a standardization of the overall inspection process. In a holistic approach, MINOAS develops a new infrastructure that supports human personnel through high locomotion enabled robots equipped with high-resolution sensors. MINOAS uses crawling, climbing and flying robots to access different sections of a ship. Information gathered by the robots is integrated and presented to the human inspection staff in a central command center. The inspection process is thus made more efficient and less strenuous for human inspectors.

Duration: 01.06.2009 till 30.06.2012
Donee: German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence GmbH
Sponsor: European Union
Grant number: This work is funded by the European Commission under the project MINOAS (SCP8-GA-2009-233715)
Partner: RINA, IT (coordinator); Glafcos Marine, GR; Lloyd’s Register, UK; Neorion Shipyards, GR; MTG-Dolphin Shipyards, BG; Rigel Engineering, IT; Universitat de les Illes Balears, SP; CNR-ISSIA, IT; Horama, GR
Application Field: Logistics, Production and Consumer
Related Robots: Magnet Crawler
Marine Inspection Robotic Assistant System

Project details

The MINOAS system is based on a heterogeneous robot fleet (Source: GLAFCOS Marine)

The heterogeneous, multi-modal MINOAS robot fleet will be able to cover most sections of a standard vessel, including both on board and overboard regions. In particular in regions that are difficult to access (e.g. in tall cargo holds or on the ship hull), the robots provide the inspectors with advanced remote perception and handling capabilities. Among others, this will reduce the need for costly supporting measures (e.g. scaffolding to access large cargo holds) and increase workplace safety for the inspectors.

By introducing robots for the inspection, multiple inspection processes can be executed in parallel. This speeds up the overall inspection process, which today often is performed on a section-by-section basis through a single inspector.

In summary, the main objectives of MINOAS are:
a.) to use robots to provide better access to those sections of a marine vessel that are difficult to reach for human inspectors (both above- and underwater),
b.) to collect, integrate, and analyze the data gathered by a multi- disciplinary robot fleet in a central command center,
c.) to record the overall inspection process for future reference and the identification of potential deficiencies.

Website: http://www.minoasproject.eu/


MINOAS: System tests in Varna

The lightweight crawler and the 3D positioning systems are tested during the ship trials in a real environment.

MINOAS: Magnet Crawler 2

Magnetic climbing robot for inspection of steel structures

MINOAS: Magnet Crawler

The Magnet Crawler robot climbs on the outer surface of the DFKI exploration hall




A Robot Application for Marine Vessel Inspection
Markus Eich, Francisco Bonnin, Emilio Garcia, Alberto Ortiz, Gabriele Bruzzone, Yannis Koveos, Frank Kirchner
In Journal of Field Robotics, Wiley-Blackwell, volume o.A., pages ---, 2014.


A Magnetic Climbing Robot for Marine Inspection Services
Kristin Fondahl, Markus Eich, Johannes Wollenberg, Frank Kirchner
In Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Computer and IT Applications in the Maritime Industries, (COMPIT-2012), 16.4.-18.4.2012, Líege, o.A., Apr/2012.


Design and Control of a Lightweight Magnetic Climbing Robot for Vessel Inspection
Markus Eich, Thomas Vögele
In Proceedings of the 19th Mediterranean Conference of Control and Automation, (MED-2011), 20.6.-23.6.2011, Corfu, o.A., pages 1200-1205, Jun/2011. ISBN: 978-1-4577-0123-8.


First Steps Towards a Roboticized Visual Inspection System for Vessels
Alberto Ortiz, Francisco Bonnín-Pascual, Andrew Gibbins, Panagiota Apostolopoulou, William Bateman, Markus Eich, Francesco Spadoni, Massimo Caccia, Leonidas Drikos
In Proceedings of IEEE International Conference on Emerging Technologies and Factory Automation, (ETFA-10), 13.9.-16.9.2010, Bilbao, o.A., Sep/2010. ISBN: 978-1-4244-6848-5.
MINOAS a Marine Inspection Robotic Assistant: system requirements and design
Massimo Caccia, Renato Robino, William Bateman, Markus Eich, Alberto Ortiz, Leonidas Drikos, Albena Todorova, Ioanis Gaviotis, Francesco Spadoni, Vassiliki Apostolopoulou
In Proceedings of the IFAC Symposium on Intelligent Autonomous Vehicles, (IAV-10), 06.9.-09.9.2010, Lecce, o.A., Sep/2010.

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