Robot hull cleaner wins first NSW Ocean Innovation Award

Sydney startup Hullbot won the first ever NSW Government-funded Ocean Innovation Award at Ocean Impact Organisation’s INNOVOCEAN event yesterday.

Hullbot, a robot to clean marine growth from boat hulls, reducing the need to use harmful antifouling paints.

NSW Environment Minister James Griffin took home the first prize in cash of $10,000, with Hullbot addressing one of the key threats of the Marine Estate Management Strategy (MEMS) to the NSW marine environment.

Department of Planning and Environment (Department) Michelle Fletcher, Director of Marine, Coastal, Flood and Estuarine Affairs, congratulated Holbut on an exciting automated solution to reduce sea pollutants, transport of invasive species, and carbon emissions.

Hullbot has created a robot to clean marine growth from boat hulls, reducing the need to use harmful antifouling paints that pollute seawater with toxins and microplastics.

From an environmental point of view, it is essential to have clean boat hulls, as they reduce the friction that goes through the water, which means less fuel used and lower emissions. It also prevents objects carrying invasive species from one port to another.

It’s an exciting invention because it prevents marine growth on boats without the use of harmful anti-fouling coatings, and has already cleaned hundreds of hulls in Sydney Harbour.

“Well done to this ocean-loving team of ecologists, engineers, roboticists and innovators who are passionate about solving ocean problems,” she said.

All six finalists for the new Department-sponsored award have developed transformative technologies and solutions that address priority threats to the marine environment in New South Wales.

“Congratulations to all of our finalists, whose innovations can significantly reduce risks to the health of our oceans, well done to first runner-up SLURRYTUB and second runner-up Karabak.”

SLURRYTUB was developed by a Sydney construction company to prevent heavy metals and solids from construction sites being washed down storm drains into the sea or harbour. It works overnight, draining the cement slurry through a sump with a filter.

Carapac’s mission is to change the world of packaging with a sustainable, compostable alternative “plastic wrap” made from crustacean shell waste – such as shrimp shells. Shell waste is processed into a range of packaging films, which can extend the shelf life of fresh food by up to two weeks.

“INNOVOCEAN is an important new annual event run by OIO, and we are proud to sponsor an award showcasing innovative new technologies that address major marine threats,” said Ms. Fletcher.

Learn more about NSW’s marine property management strategy, and find out more about the six finalists in the NSW Ocean Innovation Award 2022 video – Finalists.

/public release. This material from the original organization/author(s) may be of a point-in-time nature, and is edited for clarity, style, and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s). View it in full here.

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