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What is the Importance of Robots in the Maritime Industry?

By CIOReview | Friday, October 16, 2020

From the green and eco-friendly benefits provided by regular hull cleanings to the safer waters gained via anti-piracy measures, advanced robotics are already influencing maritime operations.

FREMONT, CA: It is not just manufacturing experiencing the increase of advanced machinery; modern robotics are sweeping throughout nearly every sector, inclusive of the maritime world. Robots are used for several maritime industry things, from cleanup and maintenance to full-on driverless craft.

The most beneficial use of robots is during hazardous or potentially dangerous situations. Replacing the human laborers with robotics, the operations immediately becomes safer and usually more streamlined. For instance, the U.S. Maritime Administration has partnered with SEA-KIT to develop a robotic oil-clean-up vessel. The job is highly dangerous for human workers who witness regular exposure to hazardous chemicals, toxic fumes, and a high risk for fire or explosions. Robotics would be a much safer option.

Here are a few of the other maritime robot applications.

Hull Cleaning and Maintenance

The hull or underside of sea vessels become remarkably dirty. Almost every ship requires regular cleaning to preserve its longevity from barnacles and similar organisms to scratches and corrosion. It’s also a task that can be dangerous, challenging, and tirying. Typically, divers will do the work when a vessel is docked or in port. However, new robotics may be able to do the job instead. 

Ship Inspections

Huge ships like cargo or shipping vessels are difficult to inspect due to the boat’s surface area and its materials and colors. It can be daunting to detect cracks, corrosion, and other serious complications, particularly under the water, where it’s dark and murky. It means that human inspectors have to invest considerable time pouring over every inch of a vessel. Therefore Robots can carry out the inspection allowing humans to focus on other important work.

Anti-Piracy Measures

The Coast Guard and the Navy both have a lot to contend with when it comes to piracy. This is something that happens globally, not just near the United States' borders. Not every country can protect against significant piracy, either. Robots could change that and help to secure ships and cargo.

See Also: Top Robotics Companies