August 25, 2021

TasGlobalHullRobot400x275South Korea’s Tas Global has announced the commercialization of a hull cleaning robot that can clean a ship’s surface above and under the water line. Attaching strongly and softly on a ship, the robot can clean while moving freely on curved surfaces. It includes various sensors and eight cameras facing all directions. While the robot weighs 200 kg, it can move smoothly by maintaining a positive buoyancy. An in-house developed portable filtration system, connected to the robot, can clean microorganisms and microparticles in three stages.

“We have commercialized an economical and environment-friendly underwater robot cleaning system for the first in the world,” said Kim Yusik, CEO of Tas Global. “Tas Global will contribute to the development of shipping industries by providing the standards for environment-friendly underwater ship cleaning in the future as well.”

The company was selected as a government project supervising company for the research project, “Development of Technology for Organisms Attached on Ship’s Hull”, as part of a “clean sea, rich fish field'' national policy assignment of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. The project, supported with 16.3 billion KRW ($13.6 million), includes participation from Korea Research Institute of Ships and Ocean Engineering (KRISO), Korea Register (KR), Korea Maritime Institute (KMI), Korea Testing & Research Institute (KTR), Korea Marine Equipment Research Institute (KOMERI), Snsys, Proxy Healthcare and Safetech Research. In addition, the Korea Maritime University, Changwon University and Gyemyeong University also participated.

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The hull-cleaning robot includes an attachment to a filtration system that can clean microorganisms and microparticles in three stages.

The company looks to meet requirements of an international treaty on cleaning ships in water, developed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Global Environment Facilities, which is expected to be enacted within three years. The treaty would require that maritime shipping companies must have organisms attached to the underwater body of ships removed and maintain the organism attachment at a state below a certain level (minor seaweeds).

In addition to the robotics development, Tas Global prepared an internal safety guideline for safe diving equipment that complements occupation safety and health acts. While robots can work on large areas and standardized works, underwater repairs often occur on small areas, requiring precision work by human divers. This goal is to “consistently invest in the procurement of highly priced industrial diving equipment to normalize the Korean industrial diving system, which has not been sensitive enough to safety so far,” the company said.

For more information on the company, visit the Tas Global website here.