The possibility to verify the capability of Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) to provide outcomes at least equivalent to those obtained by traditional inspection procedures represents a mandatory condition for the adoption of these technologies in most of the activities related to the inspection of ships.
ROBINS aims at setting clear, demonstrable and verifiable goals for inspection, by means of criteria for the definition of equivalence between personal direct sensory experience of the object of examination and experience mediated by technological devices. In this view, the Testing Facility will provide a common environment for the assessment of all RAS, allowing comparison of performances and objective/rational evaluation for certification purposes.
The assessment of performances and fit-for-purpose of RAS platform and software tools will be carried out based on the defined requirements and results of tests performed both on board and in the Testing Facility. Particular reference will be made to:
- Access to and mobility within the environment
- Navigation and localization
- Sensing and probing
- Data security and quality
- Equivalence to inspections carried out with direct human intervention.
Cost-benefit analysis of the employment of robotic technologies in ship inspections, considering the actual performances of RAS platforms, will also allow to appraise impacts and benefits of their adoption.
The assessment of the Testing Facility (TF) will consider:
- Definition of criteria and relevant metrics for the evaluation of the tests designed for the TF, in terms of importance, relevance, applicability, effectiveness, repeatability and execution
- Definition of criteria and relevant metrics for the assessment of the quality of data collected during the test campaigns
- Verification of compliance of the TF implementation with the specifications, including the verification of the capability to control the parameters that define the testing conditions as identified
- Definition of reference measures for each test
- Verification of the repeatability of testing conditions
- Assessment of the accuracy of the performances prediction comparing the extrapolated data derived from the TF’s tests and the data collected during the field trials
- Definition of a proposal for a regulatory framework for RAS-assisted ship inspections, covering certification of robotic platforms, training and certification of operators, assessment of operational procedures