Advanced robotic technologies are already influencing maritime operations - the day when robots will carry out numerous important jobs both onshore and at sea is not far away. From revamping hull cleanings to anti-piracy measures, here are 3 ways technology is changing the shipping industry:
Hull Cleaning and Maintenance
From Asian Paddle Crabs to Bay barnacles, these invasive aquatic species (IAS) attach to a vessel’s hull which causes biofouling. It is no secret that every vessel needs its hull cleaned regularly in order to prevent the harmful growth and spread of marine fouling and to preserve the longevity of anti-fouling coating.
Cleaning and maintaining a ship’s hull can be a dangerous, timely and difficult task when using traditional methods of hull cleaning. It was common practice to use divers with brushes or karts which posed a serious risk to human life however, with evolving technology, new robotic techniques are able to replace previous practices and get the job done quickly, efficiently and safely.
One of the most innovative solutions available to the shipping industry is HullWiper’s Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). The ROV attaches itself to the underside of a vessel to clean its surface. Using adjustable high-pressure seawater jets as its mode of cleaning, the device is able to reduce the risk of damage to costly hull coatings instead of using manual brushes or abrasives.
Taking steps to regularly and proactively clean vessel hulls prevents fouling and also maximises fuel efficiency and improves vessel performance. Using the HullWiper’s ROV to clean a ship’s hull helps to shorten times in dry docks and avoid expensive repairs.
With operational bases in Dubai, including key locations across the Middle East, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Singapore, Spain, Egypt, Australia, Panama, and Mauritius, ship owners and operators can proactively manage the effects of biofouling on vessel hulls and reduce their operational and bunker fuel costs. Click here to learn more about HullWiper or book a hull cleaning.
Streamlining business and management processes in the shipping industry has never been easier. By replacing paper-based systems with digital processes like Cloud Fleet Manager created by Hanseaticsoft, shipping companies around the world are decreasing costs, reducing administration, improving efficiency, and automating tasks. Cloud-based management systems are being introduced into areas such as:
- document management;
- logistics and supply chain management;
- managing crews and resources;
- communicating with third parties; and
- improving the wellbeing of seafarers by allowing them to communicate with friends and family while at sea for long periods of time.
From saving costs and centralised data to up-to-date reporting, the benefits of cloud-based vessel software are endless.
As unbelievable as it might sound, piracy occurs all the time however, not every country can protect against major piracy.
Technology such as the Recon Scout Throwbot by ReconRobotics is a small, dumbbell-shaped robot that is able to infiltrate the main deck of a boat for stealth inspections. The device’s magnetic wheels allow it to climb up the side of a ship onto the deck and maneuver around. Operators are able to see what is happening in real-time, even during the night, thanks to the featured camera and infrared sensors. The device can be controlled by a joystick from the nearby command center.
TRANSFORMING THE FUTURE
The HullWiper ROV is an excellent example of the future we are headed for, with countless other inventions underway. We are excited to see what the future of technology in the maritime sector has to offer.