Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Japanese robotics firm MELTIN to conduct a joint study on deployment of remotely controlled robots within its ocean shipping operations, including vessels and offshore businesses.
The project is part of MOL’s wider strategy to adopt new technologies such as autonomous navigation and remote control to support future changes in maritime transport. The introduction of MELTIN’s remote-control robotic technology, which can perform tedious time-consuming tasks or operate in dangerous areas such as extremely high and low-temperature environments, is seen as a way of reducing the workload on seafarers, particularly in tasks that present challenges to hands-on operation.
Both MOL and MELTIN say they are committed to building a strategic relationship together to introduce the robotic technology to shipping and will proceed with a number of specific studies.
This will include research into different vessel types and routes for introduction of remotely controlled robots and associated technologies, assessing the feasibility of their introduction and the level of onboard communications technology required at sea, as well as implementing Proof of Concept (PoC) pilots to see the systems in practical use.