Tymor Marine gets grant funding to refine disruptive draught survey technology

21st February 2024 | Marine Technology

Hull of vessel with draught marks

Tymor Marine has been awarded funding from Scottish Enterprise to support the development of an app-based version of its breakthrough draught survey technology.  

Already a major innovation for the maritime sector, our DRFT MRKS software uses artificial intelligence and deep learning applied to video capture to provide an accurate measurement of the weight and load of a vessel.

Accurate draught readings are essential for ensuring a vessel’s stability – determining how much cargo it is carrying and what depths it can safely navigate.

The grant funding from Scottish Enterprise will allow our team to build on the operational capabilities of the DRFT MRKS software, refining the technology into to a highly portable and commercially viable mobile phone app without the need for cloud-based processing.

Since the time of Archimedes, mariners have conducted draught surveys – a means of determining the weight of a vessel and its cargo – by eye, but environmental variables and human error make it an inexact science.

A misreading of the draught by just a centimetre could result in legal claims for apparent – but illusory – shortages of cargo.

Reading draught marks also comes with inherent health and safety risks for the mariners who conduct the survey. It requires getting close to the hull of a vessel or the underside of a floating structure, usually in small boat.

We originally developed DRFT MRKS to help our in-house naval services team overcome the inherent challenges of conducting draught surveys. We were later supported by Scotland’s innovation centre CENSIS and the University of Edinburgh to optimise the deep learning functionality of the software.

Using cutting edge AI capability, the breakthrough DRFT MRKS tech is able to mitigate human error and challenging factors such as faded or rusted markings, poor lighting, marine growth, bad weather, and the swell of the waves. The video capture can be collected at a safer distance from the vessel, either by a mariner using a handheld device on a boat, or by drone.

An app version of our software would have enormous industry potential. Managing director at Tymor Marine, Kevin Moran, said: “In the next two decades the digitalisation of operations will drive more changes in the maritime sector than we have seen in the last century. Disruptive product-led innovations like DRFT MRKS will transform the mariner experience, contributing to a safer, more efficient experience at sea.

“The funding from Scottish Enterprise is fantastic because it will allow our developers to refine our software, reducing its processing requirements so that it can be used within a smartphone app. The funding will help us to accelerate time to market with a new technology that is scalable, secure, reliable, and portable.”

Find out more about our DRFT MRKS technology here.