Drone and robotics specialist RIMS (Robotics In Maintenance Strategies) have received their fourth Classification Certificate as Recognized External Specialists, from Lloyd’s Register for the use of Remote Inspection Techniques (drones) during surveys of enclosed spaces. The Lloyd’s certification adds to RIMS’ CV of class approvals achieved during 2017.

The practical audit was successfully executed on a large deep-water construction vessel. Prior to the demonstration, drawings of the tanks were reviewed to establish a flight plan and to indicate specific points of interest. During the demonstration the drone was able to be successfully manoeuvred around the tank according to the flight plan, and was able to react to the instructions of the attending surveyor in real time.

David Knukkel, CEO of RIMS commented on the recent certification awarded to RIMS: “We are honoured to receive the approval, as these audits are not easy. Class are setting a high standard, not only to ensure safe operations during the flight of the drones but more importantly to achieve accurate survey results. Due to the importance of these surveys, we consider each flight as an examination and it is up to us to maintain the high standard demonstrated in class audits.”

The certification means that shipowners and managers now have the option to avoid the use of costly access equipment such as scaffolding and cherry pickers during surveys, and instead to use RIMS’ remote live on-screen object inspection, which offers substantial benefits; reduction in the time to carry out a survey, minimising of risk, as well as cost savings.

“We were first to gain approval from BV, ABS, RINA and now also receiving the approval from Lloyds Register, means that the acceptance and use of drone technology finally breaks through in the Maritime Industry and drones become a common tool to execute safe and cost-efficient inspections of ships and MOU constructions.” added Knukkel.