Victor Restis says Industry is Thrilled with Robotic Technology
I am a technology enthusiast and enjoy reading about how technologies of today and the future are being tested and implemented across many industries. This article, which includes commentary by Victor Restis, president of Greek shipping conglomerate, Enterprise Shipping & Trade, discusses how the maritime industry loves to test AI technologies as this industry strives to strengthen the global supply chains that keep the world moving forward. It is that simple.
According to the article, some of the areas where technology will have the most significant impact is in robotics and AI. Robotics can be a precious asset to human resources streamlining processes and working side-by-side with human counterparts. I found it interesting that robotics is being used to mitigate the risk of dangerous situations previously faced by humans. The scenarios offered in the article make complete sense for robotics to intervene, especially in oil clean up vessels. Oil spills are one of the most significant risks to the environment and are one of the complaints environmentalists have against drilling rigs and the energy sector. Upgrading the ability to address oil spills (hopefully we don’t have to) when they happen by the use of robotics is ingenious.
Speaking of hazardous chemicals, toxic fumes, and risks of fire or explosives, the article mentions the SAFFiR (Shipboard Autonomous Fire Fighting Robot) that was developed by the Naval Research Laboratory. The article says this robot is capable of detecting and suppressing shipboard fires alongside human firefighters. How cool is that? Wonder if they all throw back a few beers after fighting a blazing inferno.
Interestingly, and a little less dramatic, is the use of robotics to perform practical and essential maritime functions, ship inspections. This use of robotics not only eliminates risk to humans, but speeds up the process, makes it more efficient, and costs less. Robotics is being used to inspect vessels, which the article states are notoriously tricky, and can report back findings in real-time. One of the coolest parts is the ability of robots to submerge and check the hull of the boat and every other section underneath. This is where finding cracks or other potential dangers are significant. Not only are robotics sent in to examine for real hazards, but they can anticipate potential risks during its inspection.
With everything going on in the world today, any innovations used to strengthen international supply chains are worth implementing. If robotics can help humans maintain and strengthen cargo vessels to keep supply chains well oiled, then I am all for it.