through rapid product development on a foundation of innovation

Every year we deliver new-to-market/new-to-world products to our customers. We have done this since the founding of our company and it’s what bonds the longstanding relationships with our client base. Our products enable them to achieve great success in new markets where there is normally no known solution to a particularly complex problem. For over 40 years SMD has delivered new enabling technology to its customers, providing advanced solutions.

By understanding and respecting the cost and time challenges our customer face we can de-risk their projects. This is only achievable by keeping our strong focus on innovation of the product and service.

SMD Innovation is where we develop our platform technology capability, strengthen our understanding of the market needs and execute frontier projects that can transform the industries we work in. It’s where we stay in tune with our customer’s needs so we are ready to solve the next new-to-world problem and help them make a breakthrough in technology.

When you truly innovate in offshore engineering, it's uncommon you do it alone. Collaborative working is what has moved our industry forward. SMD Innovation is interested in new forms of power storage, locomotion, on-board intelligence, communication and data transmission. If you feel you have something unique in these areas, please contact one of our team below.

  • World’s first subsea plough
  • World’s deepest subsea trench
  • First subsea rock trenching machine
  • Supplier to Nautilus Minerals, global pioneers in subsea mining

Operating in Hazardous Environments Worldwide

Sensabot, the first resident mobile robot certified to work in difficult and hostile environments, launched by Shell. The Sensabot system is the culmination of seven years of work with leading robotics experts from across the world. The design and build involved our team here in Wallsend working closely with Carnegie Mellon University in the USA and Improvia in the Netherlands. 

The robot will work in remote or unmanned oil and gas facilities and is designed to work for six months without requiring maintenance. Operators will be able to use the IECEx Zone 1 certified robot as their eyes and ears on the ground to check equipment and respond to alerts faster whilst gathering accurate real time data.

To enable a smooth integration of Sensabot into operating assets, the robot comes with an innovative rapid-deployment container and powerful private 4G-LTE system that could provide connectivity to up to 5000 devices including industrial smartphones, tablets, people and material tracking and condition monitoring equipment.

While the Sensabot platform is currently equipped for surveillance of oil and gas facilities, different manipulator arms enable it to be adapted for use by emergency services, or for maintenance purposes.

Sensabot is a disruptive innovation for the industry and is set to revolutionise the thinking and workflows of the major operations and maintenance contractors in the on and offshore oil and gas market. It is one of many steps towards successfully integrating robotics technology into the petroleum industry.



SMD is the pioneer of the subsea ploughing industry. We founded the technology back in 1983 and it's at the forefront of the technology today through continued innovation.


The world's largest and most powerful free flying jet trenching ROV delivered to CTC Marine.


Featured in the Guinness Book of World Records, the RT-1 is the world’s most powerful rock trenching ROV delivered to CTC marine.


First full-scale commercial subsea SMS mining system delivered to Nautilus Minerals Inc.

The Innovation Team

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