Lomar teams up with Alicia Bots on autonomous hull cleaning technology
Lomar, a maritime subsidiary of global business group Libra Group, has revealed its collaboration with tech provider Alicia Bots to integrate robotic hull inspection and grooming solutions into its biofouling control practices.
As explained, Lomar is to deploy Alicia Bots’ robotic technology on up to fifteen of its vessels. The autonomous hull cleaning technology provides a viable reduction in hull fouling, reducing fuel consumption, costs, and carbon emissions.
The multi-purpose magnetic crawler robots that have been developed by Alicia Bots can operate autonomously or remotely via a tether cable and are designed to carry out underwater inspection and maintenance tasks on a ship and other steel structures.
According to Alicia Bots, the adoption of a proactive in-water cleaning program has expected to reduce fuel consumption and as a result of that, greenhouse gas emissions. It also has the ability to prolong the service life of antifouling coatings, reduce the point source discharge and cost of reactive underwater cleaning programs as well as prevent the transport of invasive species.
Apart from hull grooming, the systems are slated for use in cargo hold washing and cleaning, fire fighting, corrosion detection, reparation assistance, data collection, underwater inspections, and thickness measurements.
Lomar’s corporate venture lab, lomarlabs, will be involved in the collaboration, providing insight into the development of robotics to support maritime operations, particularly in the progress toward establishing the potential for autonomous marine drones.
The firm noted that this technology has the potential to reduce the need to send humans into dangerous environments in order to carry out essential maintenance work, such as underwater diving operations for routine cleaning.
Furthermore, Lomar is making its ships available to Alicia Bots to test new use cases with a project that has received grant-aid from the Singapore MPA, to trial underwater inspections and cleaning in Singapore.
Lomar has recently joined hands with Silicon Valley tech start-up Blue Dot Change to develop a solution that will work on the reduction of methane emissions.