A remote-controlled, underwater keel-cleaning robot aiming to revolutionise the way boaters look after their boats is seeking investors
A remote-controlled, underwater keel-cleaning robot aiming to revolutionise the way boaters look after their boats is seeking investors.
Bio-fouling algae and all manner of vegetation attaches itself to boats, affecting performance, fuel use and longevity.
Instead of having the boat lifted from the water to clean this off prior to hosing it down with chemicals and repainting, Keelcrab claims to effectively ‘Hoover’ the bottom of your boat while it sits in the water.
Weighing 9.5kg, it claims to clean a 40ft boat in 50 minutes.
The drone is the brainchild of Italian entrepreneur Fabio Terzaghi and based on a smiliar device used for cleaning fish tanks. He has taken to the Kickstarter crowdfunding website to try and raise the £70,000 he needs to take it into production.
To keep the device clinging to the keel, a vacuum is generated by a central impeller or turbine, driven by a brushless motor. This keeps the robot attached to the keel while it removes algae from it.
Keelcrab’s movement is driven by rubber brushes on tracks that propel it in all directions.
It claims particularly pleasing result at the waterline and on planing parts of the boat.
Up on the boat, the operator controls its movement with simple, directional buttons on a remote-control device and display. Underneath, LED lights and a video camera on the Keelcrab itself illuminate the keel revealing where cleaning needs to be done.
It also has its uses just as a keel inspection tool, regardless of the keel’s cleanliness.
If enough investment comes in, a wireless remote control is planned allowing users to control the device through an app on their mobile device.
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