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Schilling Robotics - News - November 1, 2004

Schilling Robotics, LLC, the technology and performance leader in subsea equipment, today announced its selection by the MARUM Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen, Germany, to supply major subsystems from its Remote Systems Engine (RSE) for a new self-contained, remotely operated, deepwater drilling system called MeBo.

"Scientific seafloor exploration faces a host of challenges, from the cost and availability of dedicated drill ships, to the difficulty associated with drilling through tubes that extend from the ship to the seafloor," commented Dr. Tim Freudenthal, marine geology scientist at the University of Bremen and MeBo program manager. "Using high-performance RSE modules from Schilling Robotics, we are able to develop a more affordable solution with MeBo. Not only can it be deployed from our standard research vessels, but it gives our teams 100% control over the drilling process, and simplifies deepwater exploration."

Currently in development, MeBo will be used in scientific research projects at depths up to 4000 meters, drilling holes or retrieving core samples up to 50 meters long, and performing in-situ measurements with sensor probes. The drill will be deployed from a research vessel and will be connected to the vessel with an umbilical cable containing power conductors and optical fibers. Sea trials are scheduled for April 2005.

Using MeBo, MARUM will be able to quickly retrieve long sediment cores and drill hard rocks in the deep-ocean environment. This research will provide valuable information on marine ore deposits, oceanic crust formation, methane storage in gas hydrates on continental slopes, deepwater coral reefs, and sedimentary climate change archives.

MARUM tapped Schilling Robotics for this project due to their success with Schilling’s QUEST 5, an electric WROV delivered to MARUM in 2003 for scientific research. Dr. Gerold Wefer, professor of marine geology and MARUM’s head, commented, "Our 4000-meter work-class ROV from Schilling Robotics proved to be a reliable tool for deep-sea research, intelligent in design, and easy to maintain and operate. The control system’s modular structure is an ideal solution for a wide variety of applications and environments requiring remotely controlled tools and vehicles."

MeBo leverages components from Schilling Robotics’ RSE, a suite of simple, reliable, and powerful equipment and control software modules that can be used to perform generic remote systems functions. The RSE building blocks used in MeBo’s design and development include a device for distributing electrical power and signals, the cables and connectors for all instruments and devices, power converters, rotary actuators, video display equipment, and software modules.

"Integrating high-performance components from the RSE in a custom design not only delivered a solution that MARUM believes will greatly aid its investigation of seafloor geology, but also has far-reaching implications for other custom-designed systems in all types of subsea exploration and operations," said Jason Stanley, Schilling Robotics vice president of sales and marketing, remote systems. "This type of application--one with general-purpose requirements for communication, power conversion, and remote control--is ideally suited to our RSE approach."

Headquartered in Davis, Calif., Schilling Robotics designs and delivers the world’s highest-performing, basic building blocks for subsea equipment operating in the world’s harshest environments. The company brings technology expertise and innovation in control, communication, and actuation gained through 20 years of market leadership to the challenges facing customers in subsea environments and the subsea market. This combination has led to the development of a revolutionary modular component approach, the Remote Systems Engine (RSE), and to the design of subsea equipment that leverages commonalities across systems and applications to deliver highly reliable, easily integrated, lower-cost solutions.
For More Information

Jason Stanley
Schilling Robotics
V.P. of Sales & Marketing, Remote Systems
+1 530 753 6718
201 Cousteau Place, Davis, CA 95616-5412 U.S.A.


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