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Advancements in Remote Maintenance: Designing for inclusive human-machine collaboration in autonomous offshore hydrogen production

Format: Papers, RSD12, Topic: Cases & Practice, Topic: Mapping & Modelling, Topic: Sociotechnical Systems

Espen Strange, Kjetil Nordby, and Rigmor Baraas

A design philosophy for augmented human-machine interaction

The complexity of deploying humans to remote, weather-exposed offshore locations with hazardous working environments, such as offshore energy production, implies increased occupational risks from transportation, accidents, or exposure to dangerous work situations, high operational costs and less sustainable modes of operation. Considering such factors, the offshore energy sector is in transformation, gradually shifting safety-critical maritime workplaces to shore-based remote operation centres supported by digitalisation. In this paper, we examine a large-scale project combining offshore wind energy and hydrogen production to develop a systemic perspective. Another important driver for change is the net-zero transition, where cost and sustainability may seek benefit from remote operations, but our broader sociotechnical system analysis has revealed entanglements related to occupational risks, complexities related to elements such as human-centred design, inclusion, ethics and qualification requirements for the future on-shore workforce. In this context, we argue the need for novel approaches to human-centred operations focused on remote collaboration and related interactions among humans, robots and ‘intelligent automation’ (e.g., cyber-physical systems). Our work applies a systems oriented design approach and explores how an overarching human-centred and system-oriented approach, combined with visual, perceptual and design research, is especially valuable in the early phases of innovation, helping to address systemic challenges and to establish a design philosophy for the future of inspection, maintenance, and repair operations in offshore hydrogen production. That can be used to outline inventions, further design research and help define experiments that potentially could help the industry navigate towards an inclusive and human-centred integration of technology in future inspection, maintenance, and repair operations. 

KEYWORDS: net zero, green hydrogen, offshore wind, remote operations, autonomy, industry 5.0, human-machine collaboration, artificial intelligence, human-centric cyber-physical systems, inspection, maintenance & repair, system-oriented design, human-centred design, visual perception, extended reality, robot telepresence, sociotechnical systems, remote maintenance, offshore hydrogen production

RSD TOPIC(S): Sociotechnical Systems, Cases & Practice, Mapping & Modelling




Citation Data

Author(s): Espen Strange, Kjetil Nordby, and Rigmor Baraas
Year: 2023
Title: Advancements in Remote Maintenance: Designing for inclusive human-machine collaboration in autonomous offshore hydrogen production
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD12
Article No.: pre-release
URL:–machine collaboration-offshore-hydrogen-production
Host: Georgetown University
Location: Washington DC, USA
Symposium Dates: October 6–20, 2023
First published: 30 September 2023
Last update: no update
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404
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