General Robotics Limited (GRL), introduced Version 4.0 of it ROVolution ROV pilot training and mission planning simulator that uses real-time dynamic and hydrodynamic modelling to give pilots a highly realistic experience of subsea operations.
ROVolution now includes a comprehensive Pilot Training Metrics module to improve the measurability and consistency of pilot training and assessment. An instructor can use the built-in tools to give him an objective measure of key pilot competencies like the time taken to complete a task, how much the pilot varied from a designated survey path, what force was put on the tether, and how much tether was paid out compared to the distance from the TMS. Pilot Metrics is valuable as part of a structured training course and is useful to identify where additional training is needed. Pilots themselves can use the system for self assessment and evaluate their own progress over time as part of their continuing professional development.
The system also provides the ability to rapidly assess the skills of contract pilots and their ability to perform a particular job, and subsea companies have shown considerable interest here. Operators can run a particular job configuration and get a measure of individual pilots' speed, accuracy and ability to cope with difficulties like strong currents or poor visibility. The metrics methodology still requires the availability of an experienced pilot or trainer who can evaluate the results and also give an overall assessment of individual pilots' suitability, but the system provides a standardised baseline measure of key piloting abilities.
"Pilot Metrics gives operators and trainers the chance to apply rigorous consistency in an area which has been dependent on subjective judgments," said Dr Jason Tisdall, Managing Director of General Robotics Limited. "The ability of operators to assess employees and contract staff is invaluable, particularly over time, as is the ability to target training precisely and provide pilots with a professional development process."
In addition to Pilot Metrics, ROVolution 4.0 brings a useful functional enhancement. The Torque Tool allows a pilot to simulate and practice a key subsea task - using a manipulator to apply a torque tool to a valve and turn it. The pilot has to learn to apply the tool to the valve and then turn it, and Torque Tool provides all the visual indications that you get using the real system. Torque Tool increases the realism of subsea simulations by enabling subsea tasks and completions and training pilots to perform these skilled jobs prior to using the real equipment. By tuning the simulated Torque Tool task to be more difficult than the real thing, students learn the very fine motor skills necessary to ensure that accidents with an expensive Titan manipulator are minimized.
These enhancements ship with ROVolution 4.0, which is available now, and are also available for existing systems as an upgrade.