Autonomous hull-cleaning system delivered for US Navy testing

Posted on 31 January 2013

The HullBUG autonomous underwater vehicle is delivered for field testing in Florida.

The HullBUG autonomous underwater vehicle is delivered for field testing in Florida.

SeaRobotics Corp has delivered the first HullBUG (Hull Bio-inspired Underwater Grooming) system to the Center for Corrosion and Biofouling Control at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne for US Navy testing. This is in support of the institute’s newly commissioned Large-Scale Seawater Facility for HullBUG Development funded by the US Navy Office of Naval Research (ONR).

The HullBUG system is an autonomous underwater vehicle designed to crawl on ship hulls or other underwater structures and “proactively groom” the surface. Developed by SeaRobotics and funded by ONR, this highly automated proactive grooming (or light cleaning) process aims to revolutionize hull maintenance, allowing ship hulls to remain in a clean state at all times. The benefits of improved hull condition are expected to be significant, with an estimated 5% improvement in fuel efficiency achieved through proactive grooming translating into a savings of $15 billion per year for the shipping industry worldwide, as well as reduction in the 1 billion tons of greenhouse gases emitted by the fleet.

“The financial benefits to the commercial shipping industry of HullBUG-enabled proactive grooming are enormous. Equally impressive are the associated environmental benefits derived from the operations with improved hull efficiency,” SeaRobotics president Don Darling said.

HullBUG is a small autonomous vehicle weighing 30-40 kg that attaches to the hull and performs a gentle cleaning function, or grooming. Numerous embedded computers perform navigation and sensing tasks to allow the grooming of the majority of the ship hull. Its ability to be attached to ferrous, non-ferrous and fiber-glass hulls and to deploy various sensors allows the system to overcome challenges in inspection and grooming. Opportunities in commercial shipping, oil and gas, nuclear, and conventional power generation markets are under discussion.

SeaRobotics specializes in small, smart vehicles that are remotely or autonomously operated. Its clients include major military and commercial organizations. Its marine survey software interfaces with most data acquisition hardware, software and sensing systems to produce multi-spectral, DGPS-stamped data for survey, research or surveillance efforts. Applications for SeaRobotics vehicles range from hull grooming and inspection to bathymetric and hydrographic surveys to coastal, harbor and riverine surveillance.  Many SeaRobotics vehicles are small, modular and man-portable, allowing for rapid deployment in remote areas.

Leave a Reply

*

FEATURED MICROSITES


Recent Drilling News

  • 03 March 2015

    Kosmos Energy finds hydrocarbons in CB-1 exploration well offshore Western Sahara

    Kosmos Energy announced that the CB-1 exploration well located in the Cap Boujdour permit area offshore Western Sahara encountered hydrocarbons. The well penetrated...

  • 02 March 2015

    Maersk Voyager drillship secures contract for work offshore Ghana

    Maersk Drilling has been awarded a contract from Eni Ghana Exploration and Production, an Eni subsidiary, for employment of the newbuild drillship Maersk Voyager...

  • 02 March 2015

    Wisco Moran debuts Padwise 1 walking rig in Texas

    The trend among drilling contractors to install walking systems on rigs has solved a major logistical problem for operators on multiwell pads – negating the need for costly...

  • 26 February 2015

    JDC inaugurates Hakuryu 12 jackup, looks to growth in Middle East, Myanmar and Russia

    The Japanese word “hakuryu” means “white dragon.” In Asia, dragons are strongly associated with oceans. They also represent power and blessings...

  • 16 February 2015

    Steven Newman steps down as Transocean President, CEO

    Transocean announced that Steven Newman and the Board of Directors have mutually agreed that he will step down as President and CEO, effective 16 February 2015...

  • Read more news