Innovation That Matters

| Photo source Grant Durr on Unsplash

Robotic ship cleaning to maximise efficiency and protect the ocean

Mobility & Transport

The startup has developed a fully autonomous robot that cleans the outside of ships while on the move

Spotted: Within minutes of being in the water, ocean vessels have already accumulated a thick layer of slime that slows them down. It’s a problem that requires costly and often harmful solutions. Seeking to change the landscape of vessel cleaning is an Israeli startup. With its fully autonomous robotic system, NakAI Robotics’ technology may hold the key to cleaning hulls in a marine-safe and affordable way, all while on the move. 

Without the need for cables or crew assistance, NakAI’s robot self-deploys from the side of the ship to clean the bottom. Conveniently, it is designed to work in-transit by utilising forces that occur when the boat moves through the water. It cleans almost all hull surfaces, except specific areas where turbulent flow makes cleaning difficult, such as by the propeller.

NakAI’s products will soon come equipped with inspection sensors, which will be installed on the robot to scan the ship’s hull while it performs cleaning tasks. In turn, this will give shipowners an early warning system to identify maintenance issues that need attention.  

The company is making rapid progress in developing a solution that is ready for commercial use. In August 2021, it successfully cleaned its first cargo vessel in Israel, and since then, it has garnered significant attention from shipowners in the Mediterranean region and beyond. NakAI hopes to have a readily available system in the market by the second half of 2023. 

Springwise has previously spotted other innovations in the archive harnessing artificial intelligence (AI) for cleaning purposes, from AI-powered waste management to keep city streets clean to an AI-handled waste-sorting process. 

Written By: Georgia King



Download PDF