Hull Skater

Unlocking Hull Skater’s environmental potential through automation

A ship’s hull accumulates algae and other organisms. This material slows down the ship, requires more fuel and increases the environmental footprint. Multiply this by the total number of vessels in the world and the potential climate impact is massive. Jotun and Kongsberg Maritime developed a robot to solve this problem by cleaning the hulls of ships. Halogen, Semcon and Techno collaborated in the project. The technology is complex, robust and very impressive, but without an automated delivery system it was difficult to handle and less likely to be used.

Halogen joined the team to develop a completely automated delivery system. We redesigned the Hull Skater ‘garage’ and umbilical handling system, transforming the user journey with over 70 manual touch points into a fully automated process. The system ensures that the Hull Skater will be used, unlocking its full potential to:

  • Reduce emissions of an average bulk carrier by 22,000 tonnes of CO2 (or 12.5%) over a period of 60 months
  • Deliver a cost saving of $4 million over the same period
  • Prevent the spread of invasive aquatic organisms from port-to-port

Our reflections

Through this and other projects, Halogen has developed a strong competency in human-machine interaction. Digitalisation has become commonplace, but designing for robotics in the physical world is incredibly complex and requires specialised expertise. We combine our solution design, service design and product design to create the whole service delivery for our customers.

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