Autonomous gangway for Bernhard Schulte Offshore's new vessel

Bernhard Schulte Offshore
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Bernhard Schulte Offshore’s as-yet unnamed SOV will mount a walk-to-work gangway that can land itself autonomously and improve performance by using AI to learn as it carries out operations

The 30-m long gangway was demonstrated to an audience of vessel owners and operators at manufacturer Uptime International’s facility at Avaldsnes near Haugesund, Norway, this morning.

The demonstration showcased several capabilities integrating smart technology enables the active heave motion-compensated gangway to perform. These included performing a push-on landing autonomously and demonstrating an automatic slip-off detection functionality.

The self-learning autolanding landing system uses a 2D and 3D camera working together to measure distances and recognise landing areas. Initially, the system will ask the operator for confirmation that the targeted landing zone is correct prior to landing, and will use this confirmation as a reference for future landings via pattern recognition. The more landings the system carries out, the better it will be able to carry out its function without the need for human intervention.

This increases safety and operability in rough conditions, said Uptime’s director of sales and marketing Svein Ove Haugen.

The automated slip-off detection functions by immediately stopping and retracting the gangway when slip-off is detected, without any forward jump.

The gangway also incorporates a crane mode capable of lifting up to 4 tonnes static or 2 tonnes in dynamic offshore conditions. While it cannot operate in both transfer and crane mode simultaneously, the gangway can switch between the two easily without any hardware changes or transition required.

The SOV the gangway will be fitted to is currently under construction at Ulstein.

A second of these gangways has been ordered by Island Offshore for a contract with Equinor.

The gangway features an automatic slipoff detection system and carries a 2-tonne offshore crane

The gangway features an automatic slipoff detection system and carries a 2-tonne offshore crane