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AuraTech - Advanced Unmanned Robotics & Automation Technology



The guiderail transit restraint system (GTRS) has been successfully installed onboard the Bolette Dolphin off the west coast of Africa.

The GTRS was developed by AuraTech in response to clients requirements.  Permanent guiderail was initially installed on the Bolette Dolphin drill ship as part of the work class ROV heavy weather launch and recovery system (LARS), however concerns were raised over the amount of hydrodynamic drag generated by the rails during transit. So the guiderail needed to be removed from the vessel during the transit period; the problem was that removing and storing the guiderail presented significant safety issues and generated it’s own logistical problems as there was no place on the deck of the vessel to store them.

The GTRS was designed to hold the guiderail clear of the waterline, in it’s operational location.  Feedback from the system has been positive, and discussions have been made to adopt on further vessels.


ATE, successfully deliver design & analysis package for a heavy weather launch and recovery system for a work class ROV onboard the Belford Dolphin Drill ship.

Having previously examined and verified the structural integrity of the existing system, ATE were called in to carry out a full design and structural analysis of it’s replacement.  ATE were required to design a new winch interface skid, access platform and a passive fleeting sheave assembly.

An interesting article from Trever Clowson including how AuraTech are ploughing through the valley of death on
If you want to draw attention to a problem, coining a memorable phrase to describe it probably constitutes a good first start.  And as I discovered last week when travelling round California in the company of officials from Britain’s Technology Strategy Board 

OpenROV 2.5AuraTech R&D have just built the OpenROV 2.5.  It’s an interesting take on the ROV model, traditionally everything on an ROV is captured and operated topside with all power, video and coms being intertwined into the umbilical.  This makes the umbilical both heavy and expensive to replace following wear.

The umbilical or should we say tether on the OpenROV is simply a twisted pair copper wire used as a communication medium via Ethernet using powerline adapters.  All control systems are executed onboard the vehicle and controlled via a thin client topside, the ROV basically acts as a webserver which in turn controls a PLC to operate thrusters and the camera system.

Mechanically OpenROV needs a lot of work, however from a high level control system perspective I think the client / server model could be adopted by some of the more established ROV manufacturers.



During the mission AuraTech had the opportunity to visit the Intuitive Surgical headquarters in Sunnyvale, California.  It was pretty special getting up close and even having a go at operating The da Vinci Xi Surgical System.

I couldn’t help but think how using technology such as the da Vinci Xi would allow ‘laymen’ to carry out surgical procedures.  A surgeons job could transition to oversee multiple surgical procedures carried out by newly trained surgical operators.  After using both the system and simulator it seemed to me that those from a video game background would be more proficient in operation than medical Phd’s.  The surgeon could then lead, advice and even intervene in the event of any complications.

It will be interesting to see how the field of robotics develops within medicine…


During the robotics & autonomous systems mission to California, AuraTech had the opportunity to speak with some of the researchers working at the University of California San Diego.

The initial presentation was carried out in a dark room filled with motion tracking equipment and a combination of fixed wing and multirotor UAV’s running on the PixHawk platform.  At the centre was an array of high definition mosaicked screens, operating cooperatively to display a vast amount of information simultaneously.  From ultra high definition images to demonstrations of work being carried out in cooperation with NASA on the Mars Curiosity Rover.

David Willets the Minister of State for Universities and Science then addressed the group opening a discussion for the Robotics & Autonomous Systems Strategy for the UK.

What an exciting time for Robotics…

AuraTech Engineering AuraTech are proud to represent the UK on the prestigious Robotics and Autonomous Systems Mission 2014 to California. AuraTech were selected along side 6 other companies as the very best that the British robotics and autonomous systems industry has to offer.

Robotics and Autonomous Systems Mission 2014

AuraTech are proud to announce their new Remote Aerial Inspection Division – BlewVue, visit –

ATE Personnel mobilised onboard the Belford Dolphin drill ship, off the coast of Mozambique for ROV Inspection.

ATE successfully carried out an integrity check of an aging ROV system installed onboard the Belford Dolphin drill ship.
Belford Dolphin

ATE have since analysed and advised the client on the existing system, making recommendations which will enable the system to stay in service until the end of it’s project.

ATE have since been asked to start working on a replacement system which is to be installed in Q1 2015.

AuraTech Engineering successfully carried out the design of a ROV interface skid and backpack interface frame.

This project included an initial survey and assessment, followed by mechanical interface design and structural integrity check of the Aluminium frame using finite element analysis.  Structural load test specifications were then provided to commission the manufactured components.