Following plans laid out by the Port of Rotterdam to build new solutions that make the port smarter, more efficient, better and more sustainable, it has been announced that a new innovation has developed – the water drone.
The water drones active in the port are among the results of the Innovation Eco System; the AquasmartXL, for instance.
This is a small, unmanned boat, equipped with a camera. It sends images in real time to the quay, thus providing a flexible solution for surveillance and inspection from the water surface.
Allard Castelein, Chief Executive Officer of the Port of Rotterdam Authority has said that the Rotterdam Port Authority is fully committed to all possible ways of innovation.
He said: “Innovation cannot be forced. However, you can create an environment in which innovation is likely to take place and be in line with the market.
“We support research in conjunction with universities, such as the Port Innovation Lab with the Delft University of Technology and of course our own Erasmus University in Rotterdam.
“And we collaborate with contests for students. In addition, we support Dutch start-ups that are relevant to the port, but we also scout worldwide via PortXL; the first accelerator that focuses on port start-ups on a global level.”
Another example is the ‘Waste Shark’, which is a good size bigger than the AquasmartXL. The device, which is the size of a passenger car, has an ‘open mouth’ that is located at 35 centimetres below the water surface used to remove up to 500 kilos of waste from the water. The waste is then processed.
For the next six months, four Waste Sharks will perform a test run for the Port of Rotterdam Authority to clean up litter in the Rotterdam docks.
The Aquadrone can also be encountered live in the port. The drone inspects concrete structures for an oil terminal and visualises them in 3D.
This is done at places where it is too difficult, dangerous or undesirable to use manned solutions. This includes under jetties, bridges and other structures.