Hullbot: a boat hull inspection and cleaning robot

Isbel Lázaro.

robot de inspección

Inspenet, December 1, 2023.

The Australian company Hullbot has created a versatile inspection robot designed to carry out cleaning and inspection of boat hulls, offering this service mainly to professionals, especially in the field of yacht charter.

This underwater inspection and cleaning drone has been developed by Hullbot since 2016 and has been operational in Australia since 2019, with plans to expand its deployment. Equipped with cameras, the drone captures the geometry of the hull, allowing the creation of a 3D model of the bottom of the hull.

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Tom Loefler, one of the co-founders of Hullbot, explains: ” We can compare the current state of the hull with the original model and perform a hull inspection without needing to resort to a diver .” However, it is crucial to ensure adequate water transparency for this task.

robot de inspeccion 2
The Hullbot inspection and cleaning robot is equipped with cameras

The Hullbot is not limited to visual helmet recording. Using brushes mounted on moving arms, the inspection robot also carries out hull cleaning, reducing reliance on antifouling coatings and preventing the spread of invasive species through regular cleaning. Hullbot has developed various types of brushes adapted to the varied shapes and dimensions of boats.

The company intends to expand its inspection and cleaning robot, currently with more than twelve units in operation in Australia. Its main focus is aimed at boat rental fleet managers. Some of these operators, motivated by the need to preserve the environment, are forced to hire divers frequently, resulting in significant costs.

Depending on needs, Hullbot offers its robots for rent or purchase. The founder emphasizes: “When boats are returned, the robot can compare them to the base model and see if there has been any damage during the rental period. Next wash the helmet. If there is any problem, our team of technicians can operate the drone remotely and solve it“.

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