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Robotics technology such as BladeBUGs maintenance and repair robot have previously been tested at ORE Catapults National Renewable Energy CentreThe Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult has simultaneously broken ground at its National Renewable Energy Centre in Blyth on an offshore wind robotics centre and an additive manufacturing cell that will be used to research next-generation wind turbine blades.

The £3m offshore wind robotics centre, funded by the UK Government’s Getting Building Fund, enables robotic technology developers to access representative, onshore and offshore test and demonstration environments. It will also form key R&D infrastructure behind the drive to increase robotic intervention in the safety, cost reduction, and efficiency of offshore wind farm operations.

The additive manufacturing cell will consist of a 3D printer and a 6-axis robot with a 165Kg payload. The new capability will support ORE Catapult research into new offshore wind turbine blade technology, materials, and manufacturing techniques, including rapid production of prototype blade enhancements such as vortex generators and edge erosion protection systems. The new capability will build on the Catapult’s collaborative work with industry and academia.
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