Korean container shipping line Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) has announced plans to utilize underwater robots for cleaning its vessels’ hulls.
HMM said it would use the automated robots to clean underwater parts of hull surfaces after signing a cooperation agreement with TAS Global, a Korean manufacturer specliaising in underwater robots.
It has taken these measures to prevent additional friction caused by ‘fouling’ on hulls by so-called aquatic invasive species, which includes such barnacles, seaweed, moss and much else.
This is widely believed to decrease speed of vessels and increase fuel consumption, and ultimately greenhouse has emissions.
In the past, the only way to clean a vessel’s hull was to send divers to clean it manually.
However, HMM believes the ‘diver-free’ alternative will be safer and more efficient, as well as helping to protect ocean life by stopping aquatic invasive species spreading across regions.
The carrier also said using underwater robots will cut costs by as much as 40%, with substantially reduced hours and a more precise cleaning process.