The BugWright2 project

Autonomous Robotic Inspection and Maintenance on Ship Hulls


This H2020 project aims at changing the European landscape of robotics for infrastructure inspection and maintenance.

Robotic inspection conducted on ship hulls

The overall aim of this project is to offer robotic services on or around the hulls of  commercial vessels: 

A large scale pilot experimental commercial service for robotic ship-outer-hull inspection and cleaning with increasing level of technological complexity.

The EU-funded BugWright2 project will facilitate a multi-robot visual and acoustic inspection of the whole structure from robotic platforms in the air and underwater, detecting corrosion patches or cleaning the surface as necessary.

The latter has the potential to very significantly reduce the fuel consumption of merchant vessels and as a result, reduce the need for antifouling paint on the hulls. It will combine the survey capabilities of autonomous micro air vehicles (MAV) and small autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) with teams of magnetic-wheeled crawlers operating directly on the surface of the structure. The technology being developed may also be adapted to storage tanks or other structures assembled out of metal plates.

The offering of these services goes together with the objective of BUGWRIGHT2 to demonstrate to the community of end-users that autonomous hull-state inspection cleaning is possible, fast and valuable, with minimal human intervention and without requiring time in dry-dock

This H2020 project aims at changing the European landscape of robotics for infrastructure inspection and maintenance and will lead to important economic and ecologic break-through in this sector.

Dry dock tests with the Crawler (RoboPlanet)
Crawler (RoboPlanet), Aerial drone (UIB), Pioneer (Blueye)

Latest news

Field test to gather data

Last week, partners CNRS and Roboplanet travelled to Concarneau, to collect the data needed to

Field test September 2022

New on-site field tests on storage silos with partners CNRS, ROBOPLANET, UT and RWTH. The

Our second in-person Integration week, partners went to Trondheim in Norway, in June 2022.. The

Update on the project

Project progress

What are the objectives?


👉🏾 Autonomous multi-robot operations on and around metallic structures: (ship hull and storage tanks)
-Inspection (visual and acoustic): impact on regulations.
- Cleaning: economic and environment impact


👉🏾 Immersive interface and decision support for maintenance.


👉🏾 Pilot in harbours, shipyards and service providers to build a viable business model.

Impacts of the project?

Demonstration of the potential for robotics to impact at scale in the chosen application areas (infrastructure and maintenance) 

Reduction of technical and commercial risks in the deployment of services based on robotics actors

Greater understanding from the application stakeholders of the potential for deployment robotics

Demonstration of platforms operating over extended time periods in near realistic environments and promotion of their use 

Develop the eco-system around the prioritised application areas to stimulate deployment

Contribution to the development of open, industry-led or de-facto standards

Key numbers

EU funding
0 M€
Effort (Person-Month)
0 p*m
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grand agreement No 871260.