The CRIS has numerous well equipped labs including: a Dry lab equipped and used for control system development, simulation, and for electronics, integration and testing small systems, a Wet lab is utilised for large systems, electrical and mechanical (ROV/AUV), integration and tank testing. With the support of Shannon Foynes Port Company, the centre has lab/workshop facilities at Limerick Docks with access to the water, with the full working support of a commercial operational dock. CRIS labs are linked via multi pass single mode optical fibre comms and high bandwidth intranet and internet links to Limerick Docks and through HEA Net. The comms infrastructure enables researchers to carry out remote experimentation on platforms and MRE devices (hardware in the loop testing) and to control & share data from sensors and systems under test in the test tank / dock. It also facilitates remote presence operation (remote control and monitoring) on distributed hardware in Ireland and internationally across the world.
The centre has numerous state of the art marine robots, sonars, robotic arms, marine observation platform, airborne robotic platforms, etc. In addition to that, CRIS has developed OceanRINGS - a suite of smart technologies for sub-sea operations, designed for integration with any ROV – support vessel combination. The centre has also designed and developed an advanced precision flight control survey ROVLATIS, a 1000m depth-rated underwater robot.
The UL MaREI centre will take delivery of ROV systems suitable for inspection and intervention on MRE infrastructure, which are by design located in areas with high energy waves, currents and strong winds. An FET Inc. Comanche ROV complete with: launch and recovery system, UL OceanRINGS advanced control systems, robot manipulators, high resolution imaging sonar, camera systems and precision navigation; will be based at Limerick Docks from March 2017 and will be mobilised for offshore work on MRE test sites and infrastructure from Shannon Foynes or other ports around Ireland aboard Marine Institute vessel Celtic Explorer, ILV Granuaile, INS vessels, etc. With high precision positioning and navigation systems, and OceanRINGS control the ROV will have coordinated dynamic positioning control in the wave and current regimes of MRE. Cameras and sonar are used in the control loop to enable inspection and intervention on target energy farm plant in motion (floating wind platforms, wave energy conversion and tidal energy conversion devices), while robot manipulator systems are included to enable intervention tasks on energy converter devices, cables, moorings and anchorage.