Robotic Hull Cleaning

“As harmless as barnacles on hulls might seem to landlubbers, these crustaceans generate ‘increased drag as these ships move from port to port across the world’s oceans,’ explained Office of Naval Research program officer Steve McElvany.

Barnacles can reduce vessel speed by up to 10 percent, thus requiring ships to raise fuel consumption by as much as 40 percent to counter the added drag. Altogether, gunk stuck on hulls of navy ships translate into roughly $500 million annually in extra maintenance and fuel costs to keep vessels clean.”