Minister of Water Management Cora Van Nieuwenhuizen visits RT Borkum

October 4, 2018


Minister of Water Management visits KOTUG’s unique joint industry project: remote controlled fire fighting & remote controlled tugboat sailing


Kotug demonstrates the combination of remote controlled tugboat sailing with the RT Borkum and remote controlled fire fighting at the Innovation Expo 2018 in Rotterdam. Minister Cora Van Nieuwenhuizen, of Infrastructure and Water Management, visits RT Borkum and KOTUG’s unique joint industry project : A captain of KOTUG takes over the control of the tug via a remote secured internet line and camera images, and extinguished a ‘fire’ on a close by jetty.

KOTUG believes that unmanned remote controlled ships will be the first step to ultimately unmanned autonomous shipping. An enormous benefit of remote controlled sailing and fire fighting is the improvement of the safety. Various simple operations in remote locations can already be done from remote controlled stations.

Kotug uses its Rotterdam simulator for further testing of unmanned operation tasks. The real time sensor technology makes it possible to give the remote control captain the situational awareness that is needed for safe operation. Combined with the drone technology to connect the towline, unmanned shipping is commercially and technically getting closer.

Unmanned shipping does not yet comply with current rules and regulations. Therefore, rules need to be amended before tugs can actually start doing their tasks fully autonomous.

This demo project is a joint industry project sponsored by the stakeholders mentioned below.

Again, there was no external subsidy used.

Alphatron :       Camera visualization and system integration in the consoles

KOTUG :           Project management and supported MAROF student with Thesis “Remote controlled tug boat “

KPN :                providing data sim cards for stable 4G internet connection

M2M Blue:        Stable data connection with VPN tunnel (4G and LAN connection combined)

OnBoard :        conversion of the steering and engine control signal to internet protocol and vice versa

Rotortug:         Owner of the RT Borkum

Veth :               Steering and engine control system to take over from local console to remote control and vice versa