The BugWright2 Project

Autonomous Robotic Inspection and Maintenance on Ship Hulls

What is the BugWright2 project about?

BugWright2 is a collaborative project co-funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under Grant Agreement No. 871260. It is a 4.5 years project, started the 01st January 2020 and finishing the 31st March 2024.

The objective of BugWright2 will be to bridge the gap between the current and desired capabilities of ship inspection and service robots by developing and demonstrating an adaptable autonomous robotic solution for servicing ship outer hulls.

How do we plan on implementing autonomous inspection?

By combining 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 project inspection and cleaning system will be able to seamlessly merge the acquisition of a global overview of the structure with performing a detailed multi-robot visual and acoustic inspection of the structure, detecting corrosion patches or cleaning the surface as necessary – all of this with minimal user intervention.


drone (MAV) by University of the Balear Islands
Pioneer (AUV) by Blueye
An inspector has real-time access to the detailed measurement map within a virtual reality environment

The detailed information provided will be integrated into a real-time visualization and decision-support user-interface taking advantage of virtual reality technologies. Although ships are the targeted application, BugWright2 technology may be easily adapted to different structures assembled out of metal plates, and in particular to storage tanks, our secondary application domain.

Learn about our 3 angles of approach

  • Development of the technologies towards a clearly defined application
  • Development of demonstrators
  • Short path to market, strong industrial implication, less fundamental research
    Field Robotics
  • Autonomous navigation on and around a ship hull, above and below water
  • Visual and acoustic mapping for defect detection
  • Multi-robot operations
  • Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality for decision support
  • Deployment in Harbours and Shipyards
  • Impact on inspection process: experts in certification and marine services
  • Impact on regulations world-wide: experts in maritime laws
  • Impact of digitalization on trust: expert in psychology

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grand agreement No 871260.