KR Launches Survey Services Using Drones

The Korean Register (KR), an International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) member, has announced that it is now conducting ship inspection services using Drones, responding to the industry-wide trend to use more unmanned technology.

The new service, which has been successfully trialed and now launched, follows extensive collaboration and research conducted with the University of Gyeongnam Geochang.

The Drone inspection will save KR‘s customers time and money and will enhance the safety of the organization’s workforce. The Inspection is conducted onboard, in and around ships, and many of the inspected areas are high risk and difficult to access safely.

The inspections will be carried out using aerial Drones (U.A.V. unmanned aerial vehicle) and underwater Drones (R.O.V. remotely operated vehicle), and will be an important part of the decision-making and assessment process for KR‘s surveyors, complimenting their traditional surveying skills.
After researching the possibilities and technology available, KR successfully completed a series of tests utilizing camera-equipped Drones for ship inspections, and at the same time established a registration process for service suppliers, including the University of Gyeongnam Geochang. The two organizations now plan to work together on future technological developments.

Mr. Lee Jeong-kie, Chairman and CEO of KR said, “We are delighted to announce that we can now offer full ship inspection services with camera-equipped Drones, employing the very latest technology. This development will be a significant advantage for our customers’, saving their time and capital resources as well as increasing efficiency and safety at the worksite, which I hope, will in turn improve competitiveness across the shipping industry.”

“This is the latest development in KR’s continuous efforts to identify and develop new practical ways to meet our clients’ needs, and to enhance their businesses prosperity,” he added.

KR had provided various services including classification, statutory services, approval of class equipment, certification, naval services, industry services, and as service supplier, prior to the introduction of Drones for ship inspection service.

Moving forward, KR plans to provide services using a variety of different Drones to expand its ship inspection service areas. To offer high quality and more diverse services to more clients.

KR will carry out further research and development into the relevant technology, while vetting and registering more secure service suppliers around the world, particularly in China and across Asia.

KR is headquartered in Busan, South Korea and operates a network of 66 offices around the world.

Established in 1960 with the purpose of promoting safety of life, property, and the protection of the marine environment, KR currently classes an international fleet of 3,061 vessels totaling 69 million GT.