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Bar Technologies to collaborate with Groke Technologies on autonomous navigation

Groke A still of the user interface of Groke situation awareness technology
Following the successful installation of Bar Technologies’ WindWings, supported by situational awareness technology from Groke Technologies on board the bulk carrier, Pyxis Ocean, last August, the two companies have announced a new partnership to collaborate on future WindWings installations.

Mitsubishi Corporation’s Kamsarmax bulk carrier, Pyxis Ocean, built in 2017 and chartered by Cargill, was the first vessel to be retrofitted with WindWings wind sails, developed by Bar Technologies and partner Yara Marine Technologies. The sails, which are 37.5m tall, restrict visibility to some extent and the Groke Pro situational awareness system from Finland’s Groke Technologies was signed off by DNV and installed aboard the 80,962dwt vessel at the Cosco yard in China.

Following the successful completion of several voyages tracked carefully by Groke, the UK-based wind sail developer and the Finnish technology company are to collaborate on other autonomous navigation systems to enhance safety at sea and operations in port aboard vessels equipped with WindWings.

The Groke Pro system provides images to bridge personnel from a range of locations around the vessel. Using sensor fusion technology, the ship’s surroundings are continuously tracked and this data is combined with input from sensors as well as radar, automatic identification system (AIS) information, and Groke’s day and night cameras. With machine vision and machine learning, tools such as ‘blending’ and real-time risk analysis support the crew with accurate information to support their decisions.

Describing the partnership with Groke as a pivotal stride toward the confluence of low carbon propulsion and the latest automation technologies, Bar Techologies CEO, John Cooper, said: “As the industry goes on this journey, it’s critical to Bar that we overcome any challenges in operability by either innovating in-house, or partnering with other forward-looking industry specialists with whom we can form close collaboration.”

Juha Rokka, Groke Technologies CEO, commented: “As shipping continues to evolve, Groke is committed to being among the front-runners of the maritime future. With our technology and knowhow, we are confident that we can support the shipping industry in embodying higher standards in safety and materialising a cleaner future.”