Japanese shipping major Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with compatriot cyborg technology company MELTIN MMI Co. for the installation of remotely controlled robots in ocean shipping operations.
The objective of the MoU is a joint study by MOL and MELTIN to introduce MELTIN’s remote-control robotic technology for adoption in MOL’s ocean shipping-related operations, including vessels, associated businesses, and offshore businesses.
Both companies are committed to building a strategic relationship to introduce MELTIN’s technology and proceed with more detailed and specific studies, which led to the conclusion of the MoU.
The robots are expected to be used in dangerous areas onboard as well as handling time-consuming work or duties done in extremely high and low-temperature environments.
“Issues facing the shipping business include not only prevention of marine accidents and ensuring safe operation, but also improving transport quality to more effectively meet customer needs,” according to MOL. “Therefore, it is becoming more and more important for the industry to take a mid- and long-term viewpoint in finding solutions by adopting new technologies such as autonomous navigation and remote control.”
The companies will push forward more discussion and action to study details specific to different vessel types and routes for introduction of remotely controlled robots and associated technologies.
They will work on not only determining the feasibility of introduction and the level of onboard telecommunication technology required at sea, but also implementing the proof of concept (PoC), which assumes practical use.
Japanese shipping heavyweight aims to deploy net-zero emissions ocean-going vessels in the 2020s in line with its environmental vision of achieving net-zero GHG emissions by 2050.