Ship docking is done with assistance from either the captain's assistant or a local port pilot. It can often be done with the use of tugboats and ropes and would take up to 1-2 hours for larger ships. In some cases, other ships have been landed and the docking situation has changed drastically in the port, and assessment from the ground does not provide sufficient overview to avoid collisions. The lack of aerial overview is a problem for large ships in busy ports. Any contact between the ship and other objects can result in hull damage, damage to already docked ships, and man overboard situations is hard to detect and costly to fix. Whilst this is a problem for the ship itself, there is an added risk of damaging third-party property in the area, as other ships or the infrastructure in the port. This is a large liability for ship owners and manifests itself in the expensive insurance premiums designed to cover such eventualities.
Ship collisions from human errors mean insurance costs of €1.3 B in 2018, without small hull repairs. Adding up the total time ships take to dock; a total value of €5.07 B / year for the problem is reached.
The Upteko multipurpose drone system will provide what we today know as a parking camera for a modern car. The captain can simply with the push of a button, choose where he wants to place the view of the camera for the ship docking procedure. This view can be shared with both the port and the tugboats pushing and pulling in the sophisticated dockings.
In the aerial view, he gets a full distance measurement that is not provided with human error. Everybody the captain chooses to share the drone's view with will all have the same overview and be in the same operation.
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This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 876557
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