Inspired by a sea-snake, the deep-sea oil and gas industry is set to witness a six-meter-long, snake-like robot kitted out with sensors and a camera at each end, CNN reports. Developed by Eelume AS, in partnership with Kongsberg Maritime and Equinor, the robot will be able to work in many deep-water wells and pipeline systems.

Introduction and development of cutting-edge drones and robots have made underwater projects safer, cheaper and environment friendly.

Eelume can be kept at a docking station at depths up to 500 meters (547 yards) for six months, without being brought back to the surface, a CNN report said. It will be able to travel on self-propulsion upto 20 kilometres before needing to return to its station to recharge. The report further adds that the robot would be able to swap out parts for different tasks, including tools to operate subsea valves, and cleaning brushes to remove marine growth and sediments.

Elaborating on the USP of the snake robot, Pål Liljebäck, chief technology officer with Eelume Subsea Intervention said that unlike the unmanned vehicles that carry out maintenance work in deep-water wells, this product wil will not be transported to the offshore site on a fully crewed ship and then remotely operated from onboard the surface vessel. This operation on an average costs up to $100,000, Liljebäck added.