How Robotics Are Affecting Shipbuilding

Even though it sounds like science fiction, experts believe that many work places will be automated completely by 2055. That doesn’t mean we’ll see monster robots by the shores, but there are a variety of ways robotics can affect the industry. But will it eliminate the human factor in all shipyards? There is still quite some time between now and then, so it’s a good idea to take a closer look at robotics and other automation technologies to see what will impact the marine industries.

  • Repetitive tasks. For automation to take over any industry, it will need to focus entirely on repeatable tasks. For example, a robot is unlikely to become a substitute for marine engineers, but automation already exists for some fabrication positions in shipyards around the world. It’s expected that more complex robots will be developed to take more repetitive tasks from human workers, increasing efficiency and safety.
  • Artificial intelligence. The rise of AI in the marine industry is taking a completely different route. Artificial intelligence doesn’t need repetitive tasks to excel. Neural networks and current AI technology are getting smarter with time and will eventually be able to take on more complex tasks that may even be better performed than by a human.
  • Alternate jobs. Of course, automation, robotics, and AI are never going to replace human workers all together, especially in a shipyard environment. But the industry does need to be prepared for different jobs in the future. There will be more roles for programming the hard and soft ware for these tools as well as maintenance and other production issues.
  • The automation industry. One thing that AI, robotics, and other automation will do to impact manufacturing across the board is create a road map for the automation industry itself. Shipyards with a progressive vision can become leaders when automation comes to the marine industry. It can be helpful to recognize advancements as they come and learn how to work with them sooner rather than later.

Do you have more questions about how robotics could affect your shipyard? Contact the experts at Hutco today to learn more.