With radical developments in robotics ticking on, we look to the future to provide us with ways crew may soon be able to avoid the more mundane or uncomfortable tasks, which currently dominate workloads without providing much job satisfaction.
Imagine: We all know how hot engine and server rooms can get, and despite last month’s article advising the best ways to keep servers cool sometimes the heat can get overwhelming and/or dangerous. Why risk collapsing when you can send in a robot that has been built for operating in areas that are too dangerous for human rescue workers, to first put in place some emergency cooling devices. Tend to any server emergencies in comfort, not whilst drowning in sweat.
Tell me more: The Walk-Man is a humanoid robot that can interact with its surroundings and use human tools. It is over 6ft tall, and uses a 3D laser scanner and a stereovision system to help it navigate its surroundings. It uses both its upper and lower body to provide balance and generate motion, meaning it moves in a more ‘human’ way. Powered by a 2KWh battery and equipped with colour cameras, it can either operate autonomously using planning algorithms, or can be controlled from a safe distance.
Superyacht ready? Potentially yes, but not yet on market. Created by University of Pisa and the Italian Institute of Technology and funded by the EU, the engineers behind it are currently trying to equip Walk-Man with more advanced cognitive abilities so that eventually it can work completely independently. Currently a human operator is needed for more complicated tasks. However, demos of the robot show it is capable of walking and opening doors, and its large fingers and powerful limbs allow it to move heavy obstacles. This means it is likely capable of carrying a fan or two into the server room. The Walk-Man could also be useful helping with general heavy-lifting around the yacht.
Imagine: There’s an issue in the server room, but it’s hard to tell immediately which server/servers are causing the problem. There’s not time to go around inspecting every single server (out of the possibly 40 plus in the room), and obviously the quicker the problem is solved the better for everyone involved.
Tell me more: ETOs can now access advanced heat mapping tools using only their smart phone or tablet and the FLIR ONE Pro attachment, which simply fits onto the bottom of your device. Use the FLIR ONE Pro to speedily locate electrical problems around the yacht, as well as any HVAC issues that could be contributing to this.You can also get an accurate non-contact temperature measurement, needed to accurately diagnose a problem while staying a safe distance from equipment.
Superyacht ready? Yes, and currently being sold at $399.99, with a more basic version on the market for $199.99. With FLIR’s MU thermal night vision system already a feature on many superyachts, the brand already has some industry fans. The device could also be useful for stews when double checking food and drink are at the right temperature, and for security when detecting an intruder.
Imagine: Stewards and stewardesses can get lost in mountains of ironing. And no matter how beautiful the garments you are tending to, ironing can still be a bore, and the high-value of the clothes can often add extra stress. So, why not leave it to a robot who has a scientific way of knowing when all the creases are out, and won’t stop until it achieves this goal.
Tell me more: Such robot’s name is TEO. TEO uses a camera built into its head to create a 3D representation of the clothing and ironing board. It then decides on a number between zero and one, which signifies how wrinkly each point on the garment is. Zero represents a sharp edge, and one is a flat surface. Once it has removed all the creases using a calculated ironing trajectory, it goes over once again for extra wrinkle-removal.
Superyacht ready? Not quite. Currently the robot is quite slow, and needs a human helper to put clothes on the ironing board for it. However Juan Victores, a member of the team behind TEO, has high hopes for the robot. His goal is for it to be able to tackle a range of domestic tasks including kitchen work, meaning galley chefs could benefit from it too. The ultimate aim is for TEO to be able to learn how to do a task just by watching people with no technical expertise carry it out.Whilst TEO is not currently on market, it is being continually progressed by developers at Cornell University.
Imagine: Galleys on a superyacht, though not as compact as on smaller vessels, are not always the most spacious. However, demand for a very wide variety of fresh food on offer, and for this to be delivered to guests as quickly as they want it, can sometimes present a challenge to busy chefs. Not only does the oven need to be small – allowing ample allow space elsewhere to prep the food – but it ideally needs to cook at ridiculous speeds.
Tell me more: Merrychef’s eikon e2s high-speed oven has these features and more. It cooks rapidly by combining three heat technologies – tuned impingement, microwave, convection – allowing it to cook up to 20 times faster than conventional ovens.This means more guest requests can be dealt with in a time-frame, and with a lot less hassle. It also fits on a 600mm worktop, and works quietly (45.3 dBA in standby mode) so chefs can focus on getting the meal in question perfect.
Superyacht ready? Absolutely. Already available to buy, manufacturers claim the eikon e2s can cook a perfect pizza in 50 seconds, and steam salmon steaks in just 70. Whilst its size means you are unlikely to be able to cook a full roast dinner in it, who wants a roast in the sweltering mid-season heat anyway?
Imagine: Deckhands are often exhausted after floor scrubbing in the mid-season sun. With many more jobs to do they keep going, but their energy reserves are often depleted and backs twinging from holding the awkward scrubbing position. A tiny robot with no feeling in its back could save the day.
Tell me more: iRobot has produced a range of machines that can help humans avoid these floor-cleaning chores. Using iAdapt® 2.0 Navigation software with Visual Localisation, the robots can move around an entire level of your superyacht whilst keeping track of its location. Its Braava Mopping Robot can sweep up to 1,000 square feet, and mop up to 350 square feet in a single cleaning cycle.There is also an option to expand its cleaning range, meaning coverage of multiple rooms and larger spaces, by purchasing additional North Star Cubes. If it’ss hoovering you require, iRobot’s Roomba 980Wifi Connected Robot Vacuum works continuously for up to two hours, then automatically recharges and resumes cleaning to complete the job, usable on all types of surface.
Superyacht ready? Pretty much. Both products are available to purchase now, and come in at just over £1,000 together – not much to pay for happier crew and time freed up for other tasks. However, bear in mind that by large spaces they may not mean the entirety of your 100m+ superyacht with all of its complexities. See full specs below to see if they would be a good fit for your boat.