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HullSkater OBstacle avoidance System (HOBS)

Through this project we will develop sensor systems and algorithms for autonomous navigation of underwater robots that cleans ship hulls.

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Cleaning of ship hulls

Regular cleaning prevents calcerous fouling and increases the transport efficiency and thus reduces global CO2 emissions. The autonomous navigation is necessary to make the process economically viable.

The requirement for highly robust operation and obstacle detection with the huge difference in water turbidity makes it a challenge that is not easily solved, neither by commercially available solutions nor research based underwater vehicles.

The R&D methods applicable to this field will contain both

  1. Theoretical derivations to arrive at performance limits for a given detector and environment
  2. Implementation of combinations of detection principles and analysis of their interaction when optimized for joint obstacle avoidance
  3. Characterization of the complete obstacle avoidance system by means of measurements and fit to theory.

Key Factors

Project start



The Research Council of Norway

Cooperation partners

Kongsberg Maritime (now Kongsberg Discovery), SINTEF Digital, Jotun, various shipowners.

Project type