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Underwater Robots Are Helping Maritime Shipping Clean Up Its Act

Coco Liu of Bloomberg reports on an underwater robot that is cleaning up the shipping industry.

The C3 Take
  • Neptune Robotics has developed waterproof robots that clean biofouling (algae, barnacles etc.) off ship hulls, reducing drag and improving fuel efficiency to cut emissions by up to 30% per ship.
  • The Hong Kong-based startup’s robot cleaning service is now available at over 50 ports, with 27 robots in operation that have cleaned over 700 vessels since 2020, helping avoid around 1 million tons of CO2 emissions so far.
  • The robotic hull cleaning provides an immediately scalable way for the maritime industry to reduce its carbon footprint and environmental impact.

“Stopping biofouling buildup isn’t just good for the climate: Many scientists have sounded the alarm on ecological threats posed by invasive species that hitchhike on ships. In recent years, Australia and New Zealand tightened scrutiny of ships arriving in their waters, including requiring regular removal of biofouling. California, home to some of America’s biggest ports by cargo tonnage, also requires biofouling management.”

Read the full article here.

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of C3.

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