The First Autonomous Hull Grooming Robot Is Here – And It’s Greek

Jan 24, 2023 | Oriani

Oriani Hellas and Scrufy Partnership Brings an Innovative Solution to the Issue of Biofouling in the Shipping Industry 

Biofouling – The Sticky Problem of the Shipping Industry  

Biofouling, the accumulation of microorganisms, algae and plants on the hull of a vessel, is an ongoing issue for shipping companies. The phenomenon causes multiple structural and operational deficiencies, including increased drag, increased fuel consumption, and increased GHG emissions. Additionally, there is a risk of spreading invasive species that can affect the marine ecosystem, which can result in shipping companies getting fined due to non-compliance with international regulations.

According to the United States Office of Naval Research, due to the additional drag caused by biofouling, a ship’s fuel consumption can be increased by as much as 40%.  

Traditional solutions for grooming the hull, such as dry-docking or hiring specialized divers to remove hard fouling of the hull, are not only expensive and often dangerous to human life, but also bear the environmental risk as the waste requires capture. 

BlueBOT – Underwater Hull Grooming & Inspection Robot  

Oriani Hellas has partnered with Scrufy – a highly-innovative Greek tech company that provides custom-built automation solutions to multiple industries and software solutions for the public and private sector. Scrufy has created the first Greek autonomous hull-grooming robot – BlueBOT. 

BlueBOT is designed to aid the decarbonization of the shipping industry through preventing the accumulation of biofouling on hull surface. The autonomous robot attaches to the hull of a vessel magnetically and grooms the surface before it becomes a full-blown operational setback for the ship. In addition to its grooming capabilities, BlueBOT also collects data and generates reports on the state of the hull and the effectiveness of the grooming process. This allows shipping companies to stay on top of any potential biofouling issues and make informed decisions to maintain the performance and efficiency of their vessels. 

This innovative solution will not only increase the efficiency and safety of the hull grooming process but also contribute to the shipping industry’s goal of reducing its environmental impact by reducing drag and saving enormous amounts of fuel.  

Oriani Hellas and Scrufy are excited to bring this revolutionary solution to the market and look forward to working with shipping companies to improve their operations and reduce their environmental impact. 

“Oriani prides itself on identifying the most innovative digital solutions to represent within the maritime industry, ones that truly deliver value to shipping companies on their voyage of digital transformation. BlueBOT and the state-of-the-art technology that it contains represents not only the huge potential within robotics, but how that potential can be harnessed and delivered in the real-world to achieve actual change.” added Mr. John Vandoros, Business Development Director of Oriani Hellas. 

“Our partnership with Oriani marks the beginning of a new commercial chapter for Scrufy and our revolutionary product, BlueBOT. Given the significant opportunity for OPEX reduction provided by our solution, we believe that BlueBOT will soon be the preferred choice of the shipping industry for biofouling management and reporting”, commented Mr. Nick Arapkoules, Managing Director of Scrufy PC.  

For more information, contact Oriani Hellas 

Oriani Hellas is the trusted partner in the digital transformation of the Greek Shipping Industry. The company is dedicated to providing the most advanced and innovative maritime digital solutions to help the industry increase its operational efficiency through the use of technology. Oriani’s digital portfolio is comprehensive and diverse, offering solutions that address a wide range of challenges faced by shipping companies. With Oriani Hellas, Greek Shipping companies can rest assured that they have a trusted and experienced partner to help them navigate the ever-changing digital landscape and thrive in this highly competitive industry.