MINOAS is a new system concept that aims in formulating an integrated product that will be straightforwardly applied to the inspection related procedures of the maritime industry. This system concept does not only lie in the implementation of existing technology to a new application field, but in creating a new environment for the human personnel related to these tasks. The data acquisition tasks (DAQ) will be automated, through the incorporation of a semi-autonomously operating robot fleet. This withdraws the human personnel from the hazardous environment of a vessel under inspection, and avoids the need for temporary staging in large compartments. To guide the surveyors final outcome/decision on the vessel's overall structural condition, there exists an entire DAQ related methodology since UTM operators acquire structural thickness measurements from a predefined (or on-line moderated) grid of locations over the vessel's hull.
Surveyors will be "teleported" to this environment using virtual reality and stereographic vision, which allows them review and extract results without the psychological pressure of actually working within a non-friendly environment.
The immediate results on the quality of the inspection procedures achieved by ensuring that the psychological factors affecting the human inspectors are minimized will be further leveraged by the quality of the gathered data. The methodology so far followed for the harvesting of the required measurements will be revisited when considering the new tools at hand.
MINOAS is a new system concept that aims in being distilled into a new & innovative product that will act more like a decision support system in the aid of the human inspector, rather than a standalone system (without a human in the loop). It aims in facilitating the inspection process by a) providing ease of access on over & under water regions of a vessel through the incorporation of a multi disciplinary robot fleet, b) commutating the gathered data to a central collection point, c) providing additional software tools for the on-line elaboration of the assembled information and d) recording of the overall process that will provide the opportunity for future reference, including the opportunity to point out deficiencies in the process followed.