Robotics & Automation News

Market trends and business perspectives

New Robotic Cleaning Technology for Shipshape Hulls

Technologies never fail to improve, and the new robotic cleaning tech for shipshape hulls proves that! Hull cleaning remains a tough job as ships need to take refuge in ports to perform them. The marine debris accumulated in time damages the hulls and, in extreme cases, can lead to environmental damage.

For example, stricter hull cleaning will increase fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Yet, this is where the Norwegian company Shipshave comes into action with its newest development!

In Transit Cleaning of Hulls

The nordic company has developed a semi-autonomous robotic device for hull cleaning to prevent hull damage, save on fuel consumption, and reduce emissions. This can happen even when ships are at sea without any assistance from third parties.

This device will save ship staff time as its frequent cleaning cycles optimize and maintain hull efficiency. The robotic arm is tethered to a winch on the forecastle deck, and through the use of propulsion energy, it stays attached to the hull.

While in motion, the arm sweeps up and down along the ship’s hull. Using soft brushes, it performs an underwater cleaning. The brush force is controlled and won’t damage the hulls in the cleaning process.

The device weighs about 50 kg and comes into two parts that crew members carry. Before usage, the staff needs to configure the robotic upper arm and lower depth settings with the ITCH (in transit cleaning of hulls) application.

The arm features an integrated data capture system that records the cleaning process. It can be monitored through the ITCH application. After careful analysis, the company decided that the new robotic cleaning technology is quicker. Between 5-6 percent faster than traditional port cleaning methods. This translates to a good deal of fuel-saving.

Benefits of Robotic Cleaning Technology for Shipshape Hulls

Combining both IT and other techs, advancements in cleaning technology have numerous benefits. This new cleaning method is at least 5% faster from the start. It saves crew members a lot of time while also saving up on fuel.

Since the robotic cleaning technology operates at sea and doesn’t need crew members to dock, it can prevent environmental damages. For example, it reduces biofouling – the process where invasive aquatic species hang on to the ship hulls and end up in new environments.

More than this, biofilm accumulation on the ship’s hulls can increase weight. This can result in fuel penalties due to the extra drag and other hull damages. Yet, this is avoided with the robotic arm performing regular at-sea cleaning operations.

The Dangers of Smart Cleaning Technologies

Though smart technologies can improve every aspect of our lives, even helping us reduce CO2 emissions, they are susceptible to hacks. Cybercriminals can forcefully take control of anything remotely connected to the online world.

The new smart cleaning technologies are also vulnerable, from smartphones and smart cars to even mundane techs, just as your 3D printer or even fridge. To combat this, developers need to evaluate their firmware and prioritize cybersecurity. Here is how to prevent cyber threats!

How to Prevent Cyberattacks

  • Use a VPN

Companies and individuals can protect their online data and tech by using a VPN, meaning a virtual private network. This happens since their information becomes encrypted. What is a VPN? A VPN can help companies and their employees establish safe, anonymous, secure connections.

With a VPN, online users can also change their geo-location to add an even extra layer of cybersecurity. More than this, a VPN grants you the ability to access geo-restricted content that might not be available in your country or if you are traveling.

  • Keep Everything Updated

Companies and individuals need to understand that their firmware or regular software must stay updated. Any outdated device or app becomes susceptible to hacks. Cybercriminals can use outdated firmware or software to take control of your devices. It can cause irreparable damages to your data.

But, as in the case of the new robotic cleaning technologies, they can also take control of the settings and cause physical damage.

  • Install a Good Antivirus and Avoid Suspicious Links

Installing a good antivirus can do wonders for your cybersecurity, but it is essential to update it as well regularly. Companies should also instruct their employees on the basics of cybersecurity to avoid major financial damages and data loss.

For example, phishing is a popular method where hackers portray a fake identity and send links/files to unsuspecting victims. Once they click or download the received files, malware can corrupt their PCs, often leading to ransomware – the act of holding data hostage until an amount is paid back.

In the case of the new robotic cleaning technologies, companies need to understand that a simple security breach can lead to “hostage” situations. Hackers can stop the robotic cleaning arms from working or change their settings to cause physical damage. This is why cybersecurity needs to be an important aspect that manufacturers and buyers need to consider for a better future.

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