Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Meltin MMI to deploy remotely controlled robots in ocean shipping operations, such as associated businesses, offshore businesses and vessels.

A joint study conducted by the companies will aim to introduce Meltin’s remote-control robotic technology for use in MOL’s operations.

The shipping business is currently facing several problems, including the prevention of marine accidents, securing operations and enhancing transport quality to meet the demands of clients.

As a result, the need to utilise new technologies, such as autonomous navigation and remote control, is becoming ‘more important for the industry’, noted MOL.

In a statement, MOL said: “The introduction of Meltin’s remote-control robotic technology, being developed with the assumption that it will be used in areas such as dangerous, time-consuming work or duties done in extremely high- and low-temperature environments, can also help reduce the workload on seafarers, particularly in tasks that present challenges to hands-on operation.”

The companies have previously studied the prospect of addressing various issues in the ocean shipping sector through the introduction of Meltin’s technology.

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With the development of a high-speed on-board telecommunication environment, MOL is planning to integrate improved telecommunication with Meltin’s remote-control robotic technology.

Under this strategic partnership, the firms will move towards more detailed and specific studies after introducing the technology.

They will examine specific details of different ship types and routes, which would affect the introduction of remotely controlled robots and related technologies.

In addition, they will study the feasibility of introduction and the level of on-board telecommunication technology needed at sea, as well as work towards the execution of proof of concept.

Last week, MOL and Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering completed the demonstration trial of the Cryo-Powered Regas system for a floating storage and regasification unit.