Drone technology for inspection of waste water basins and sewage systems as well as robotics for the maintenance of outdoor areas at WWTP have potential to both improve the working environment for the employees and make waste water treatment cheaper and more efficient.
In a partnership, Aarhus Vand and Blue Ocean Robotics have identified a number of potential ways to use robot technology at waste water treatment plants. The aim is to investigate how the work environment, productivity, and resource utilization can be improved in the waste water industry – not only in Denmark but also globally.
Benefits and employment areas
The work process in the industry includes many different tasks, from the actual waste water treatment to cleaning, inspection, and maintenance of the treatment plants. Moreover, employees are at risk of being exposed to pathogenic bacteria when they are in contact with different surfaces, water, and sludge. Thus, the employees at the water company have a great interest in working with technology that can make their everyday lives more efficient and minimize risks.
At the same time, the City of Aarhus has an annual population growth of 5,000 people. Therefore, a waste water company like Aarhus Vand has to continuously increase its treatment capacity while ensuring that waste water being discharged into lakes and sea is clean. Thus, innovation plays an important role in the development of the company’s new WWTP, Marselisborg ReWater. Even though it will take eight years before the new plant is finalized, it is important for Aarhus Vand to think innovatively in order to ensure a better working environment and secure energy efficiency and production, and resource utilization in WWTP.
"Due to the strong population growth in metropolitan areas, we need to consider sustainability and create disruptive technology – also in the waste water industry. Ahead of us lie big challenges such as climate change and lack of resources, and therefore we need to carefully consider how we can do things differently with the help of innovation and new technology. In the partnership with Blue Ocean Robotics, we have merged robotic technology and sustainability, which has resulted in new and exciting perspectives that also have an export potential.", says Innovation manager at Aarhus Vand, Karsten Lumbye Jensen.
The goal of the partnership between Aarhus Vand and Blue Ocean Robotics is to identify unexplored areas and work processes in waste water treatment and maintenance of WWTP where robots can create an increased value. Through a RoBi-Roadmap, which is part of Blue Ocean Robotics’ partnership model, RoBi-X, a number of potential robots and development opportunities have been identified based on research and studies of workflows and areas at Aarhus Vand’s WWTP.
"The waste water industry is an industry where robot technology has had little impact so far. (…) Our RoBi-X partnership model provides a great starting point for the development of new scalable solutions for the waste water industry, where innovation and end users are in focus", says CEO at Blue Ocean Robotics, Claus Risager.
Soon Aarhus Vand will decide which of the identified potential robotic solutions they want to develop together with Blue Ocean Robotics.
For further information visit Aarhus Vand’s and Blue Ocean Robotics‘ website.