Underwater robot to reduce costs and environmental impact for ships

A marine sector startup is developing an underwater robot that can substantially reduce fuel costs, maintenance needs and environmental impact for ships, boats and submarines by autonomously removing built-up microorganisms, plants and algae from hulls.

ScrubMarine, founded by engineer Clyne Albertelli, has been accepted into the inaugural cohort of Heriot-Watt University’s DeepTech LaunchPad, a pilot programme which is helping entrepreneurs working in robotics, AI, and advanced engineering to commercialise their innovative ideas.

Buildup of organic growth on marine vessels, known as biofouling, is a significant challenge to the world’s shipping industry and can cause damage to hull structures and propulsion systems. The accumulation of biofouling can also result in significantly increased drag of up to 60%, reducing speeds and increasing fuel consumption by up to 40%. More