Autonomous Underwater Robot Cleans Ships, Improves Sustainability

ScrubMarine said its autonomous robot can cut fuel costs, reduce maintenance needs, and minimize environmental impact for the global shipping industry

Scarlett Evans, Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

February 12, 2024

2 Min Read
ScrubMarine's autonomous, ship-cleaning robot

A startup specializing in the marine industry has created a ship-cleaning robot that can reduce fuel costs and maintenance needs for operators across the shipping industry.

ScrubMarine, a spin-off from Heriot-Watt University's new DeepTech LaunchPad program, said the robot helps clean built-up algae and microorganisms from ships’ hulls. 

According to the startup, this buildup (known as biofouling) causes up to 60% increased drag, 40% higher fuel consumption, and widespread damage in ships, boats and submarines.

The DeepTech LaunchPad program is a six-month initiative set up to help entrepreneurs commercialize technologies such as robotics and AI.

As part of the six-month pilot program, ScrubMarine will also be developing complex navigation and control systems required for real-world applications of its robot.

"In the vast ocean of innovation, ScrubMarine is committed to charting a cleaner and more efficient course for the marine industry,” said Clyne Albertelli, ScrubMarine’s founder. “Our underwater robot, powered by deep learning and supported by Heriot-Watt's DeepTech LaunchPad, aims to scrub away biofouling challenges, reducing fuel costs and environmental impact. Together, we're diving into a brighter and cleaner future for marine transportation."

Related:Jellyfish Robot Designed for Underwater Missions

ScrubMarine joins five other companies for the DeepTech LaunchPad. All six have been granted access to tailored services, facilities and equipment within Heriot-Watt and the National Robotarium at the University’s Edinburgh campus.

“Through this pilot programme, our six-strong cohort will gain access to world-leading facilities … as well as our vast network of international industry connections, experts and alumni to accelerate their cutting-edge research toward commercial success on the global stage,” said Jamie Allan, Deeptech Launchpad’s program leader.

“We eagerly anticipate the fruits of this hands-on commercialization experience and look forward to continued engagement with these innovators as they bring remarkable technologies to market across critical sectors like medical devices, food technology, robotics and sustainability.”

About the Author(s)

Scarlett Evans

Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

Scarlett Evans is the assistant editor for IoT World Today, with a particular focus on robotics and smart city technologies. Scarlett has previous experience in minerals and resources with Mine Australia, Mine Technology and Power Technology. She joined Informa in April 2022.

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