Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

NASA Technology Safely Strips Ships Of Loose Chips

April 21, 2000
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
A new robotic device that safely strips paint from the hulls of ships without polluting the environment is based on NASA robotics technology.

A new robotic device that safely strips paint from the hulls of ships without polluting the environment is based on NASA roboticstechnology.

The system, which has received kudos from environmentalist and undersea explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau, could revolutionize paint removalin the shipping industry. Current sandblasting methods potentially can contaminate waters surrounding harbors.

Developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., the Robotics Engineering Consortium at Carnegie Mellon University,Pittsburgh, Penn., and UltraStrip Systems, Inc., Stuart, Fla., the new system consists of an automated robotic device that is magnetized to the ship,a set of high-pressure jet streams, and a controller that helps the robot navigate along the surface of the ship. The water is filtered and then reused,while the paint residue is collected in a container and can then be disposed of safely. Using this method, no toxic dust or paint flakes are generatedto pollute nearby areas or to be inhaled by system operators.

"Having now personally seen demonstrations of the M2000, I know the system works," said Cousteau, president of Ocean Futures, SantaBarbara, Calif. "It is inspiring to see a technology that can have such a positive environmental impact while, at the same time, providing a benefit tothe profitability of the shipyard industry."

"Robotics technology developed at the various NASA centers has resulted in new products ranging from automated harvesting, coal mining,earth moving, and material transport to robotic inspection and repair for gas pipelines, and agricultural spraying, to name a few," said Dr. NevilleMarzwell, who heads Advanced Concepts and Technology Innovations at JPL.

Previous stripping methods sandblasted paint from a ship's hull, producing large amounts of toxic airborne dust and exposing workers,nearby communities and the environment to significant risks. The new method, which uses UltraStrip's patented Robotic M2000 hydroblastingtechnology, uses only water in the paint- removal process and produces dried paint chips and clean water. Since a powerful vacuum collects allwater and paint, nothing can escape to pollute the air or the environment.

"We feel that the UltraStrip application is an excellent match with our commercialization goals. This system gives us a great opportunity toshowcase robotics technology in a significant commercial application which will benefit the environment at the same time," said Bill Ross,consortium project manager.

Still in development are computer-vision-based cruise control, sensors to detect surface quality, paint thickness, and any paint left on the hull,and diagnostic and analytic tools to optimize the speed of the robot for efficient and effective operations.

The technology was created under the National Robotics Engineering Consortium -- a NASA, industry, and university partnership to developnew industrial products and services from technologies that help solve key problems and reinvigorate the U.S. robotics industry. Consortiumactivities provide a process to move rapidly developing robotics technology into industrial applications, and, in turn, to provide next-generationtechnology products for the NASA's science missions. The consortium also provides hands-on experience to students who will be the nextgeneration of robotics scientists, technologists, and engineers.

The consortium is managed by Marzwell at JPL and Rick Kadunc from the Office of Space Science at NASA Headquarters, Washington,D.C. UltraStrip's president is Dennis McGuire. Cousteau is also on the board of UltraStrip.

An image of the device is available at: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/pictures/tech/paintstripper.html

JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Cite This Page:

NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "NASA Technology Safely Strips Ships Of Loose Chips." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 April 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/04/000419074059.htm>.
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (2000, April 21). NASA Technology Safely Strips Ships Of Loose Chips. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/04/000419074059.htm
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "NASA Technology Safely Strips Ships Of Loose Chips." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/04/000419074059.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This

More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) Japan's bullet train turns 50 Wednesday. Here's a look at how it's changed over half a century — and the changes it's inspired globally. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) Police body cameras are gradually being rolled out across the US, with interest surging after the fatal police shooting in August of an unarmed black teenager. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Japan Celebrates 'bullet Train' Anniversary

Raw: Japan Celebrates 'bullet Train' Anniversary

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) A ceremony marking 50 years since Japan launched its Shinkansen bullet train was held on Wednesday in Tokyo. The latest model can travel from Tokyo to Osaka, a distance of 319 miles, in two hours and 25 minutes. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robotic Hair Restoration

Robotic Hair Restoration

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A new robotic procedure is changing the way we transplant hair. The ARTAS robot leaves no linear scarring and provides more natural results. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.


Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News


Free Subscriptions

Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile

Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?

Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins