About Tow-Botic Systems
For hundreds of years, tugs have been used to assist vessels to maneuver in ports. However, tugboats have inherent problems which have not been addressed up until now.
Tugboats use towropes during ship assist manoeuvrers inside harbours, which cause critical delays when the tug has to move from a push position to a pull position. Communication gaps with tugboat Masters and labor issues have plagued the towage industry for many years. High fuel consumptions and engine emissions from tugs have forced ports to enforce new regulations to control air pollution from tugs. Numerous incidents of crew injury due to handling of towropes have occurred.
The “Towbot” has been developed to eliminate weaknesses of today’s tugs, and disrupt this age old methodology of ship towage. The Towbot attaches itself to any vessel’s underwater hull and effectively becomes an onboard thruster under the direct control of the pilot’s handheld. The pilot can then maneuver the vessel using a combination of vessel’s engines and Towbot thrusters. Pilots will no longer have to rely on the skill and communication of a tug master. Cost of towage assistance using the Towbot is well below half of the present towage tariffs.
In addition to assisting ships in the harbour and confined lock gates, this versatile technology can be used as a portable positioning system for pontoons, barges, transhippers and even positioning of submarines whilst it continues to remain below the water surface. The units are stored onshore and are easily launched into the water when required, so there is no requirement for tug pens in the port. Offshore vessels and transhippers can store the Towbots on the vessel, and launch them using simple A-frames. Smaller versions of the Towbot can be launched from pickup trucks fitted with hoists for positioning of pontoons.
Contact us to know if the next generation towage technology meets your requirements.