Robots and Automation to be the future of Marine industry

                                                                                                                                                                  - Prisilla Nadar

Being one of the oldest professions in the world, the Maritime Industry has certainly come a long way. Especially the growth of maritime industry in last few years has witnessed exploitation of scientific research and artificial intelligence, which in turn have given birth to use of robots and automation in various sectors of the industry. Intensive research and development in this field has led to major advances and effectiveness in marine robotics solutions in several domains.

Marine robotics and automation is a vast topic, which needs to discussed in detail, so that the marine industry does not lack in technology. INMEX-SMM India organized a webinar on 17th August that discussed about AI and data driven marine operations providing improved analytics for decision making, performance monitoring and maintenance; Autonomous shipping -status and outlook; Smart ports technology -Improving safety and efficiency of ship traffic, energy; Savings and cost efficiencies; Gain knowledge on Just-in-time arrivals and other voyage solutions which eliminate costly waiting at anchor and excessive fuel consumption, etc.

Mr Ranjit Paul, Group Director, Informa Markets welcomed the august gathering and thanked the experts for gracing the occasion.

Experts like Mr Ainash Rai, CEO, Adani Krishnapatnam Port; Mr David Birwadkar, Advisor, Great Eastern Shipping Co. Ltd; Capt Pradeep Chawla, Managing Director, Group QSE and Training at Anglo-Eastern Ship Management Ltd; Dr (Cdr) Arnab Das, Director, Maritime Research Centre (MRC), Indian Maritime Foundation, Pune and Visiting professor at the Defence Institute of advanced technology and Vice Admiral B Kannan (Rtd) Indian Navy and Former MD and CEO, L&T Ship building company.

Capt Chawla discussed about automation in maritime industry, where he touched upon telemetry, communications, sensors, process measurements and control, systems integration and insights derived from data collected. “Anglo-eastern ship management is one of the few to successfully   enable the world’s first digitally controlled port arrival,” said Capt Chawla. According to him, certainly need cluster of combinations of companies willing to work in digitalization in India.

“Marine Environment is a challenging framework for the exploitation of cutting-edge Automation and Robotics, initiating an era of marine robotics and automation will require a collaborative effort among several stakeholders, worldwide,” added Mr Birwadkar. He further spoke about the challenges. “Autonomous shipping is the future of the maritime industry, as disruptive as the smartphone, the smart ship will revolutionize the landscape of the ship design and operations,” he concluded. 

Mr Rai focused on 3 aspects of automation; Safety, information system and Cost Efficiency. Detail presentation on Underwater Domain Awareness (UDA) framework for Enhanced Maritime Governance in the Indo-Pacific Region was given by Dr (Cdr) Arnab Das. He touched upon India’s water resource management, water quality management, SAGAR Vision, Sagarmala and Bharatmala.

The entire session was moderated by Vice Admiral Kannan; he asked several questions on behalf of the audience.

Robotization in the maritime industry will surely accomplish several important tasks, but they should not affect the employment opportunity for the seafarers. There must be a healthy balance between robotization and seafarers’ opportunity.


(Courtesy: Marex Media)

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