Seadronix AI helps tugboats navigate busy ports

  • December 11, 2023
  • Steve Rogerson

South Korean firm Seadronix, an innovator in artificial intelligence (AI) for the maritime industry, has launched real-time remote ship navigation assistance and monitoring service for tugboats.

Called Naviss Admin, its first user is DRS Shipping, one of Korea’s largest tugboat operators with 45 years of experience.

The Naviss ship monitoring and navigation system is for tugboat fleet operations. AI-powered navigation assistance and monitoring can enhance operational safety and efficiency while mitigating the risks associated with navigating congested port waters and towage operations.

The system comprises onboard and onshore components, seamlessly connecting tugboat fleets to onshore operators. Onboard sensor modules provide a real-time 360˚ top-view video of the tugboat with AI-enabled maritime object detection capabilities, offering tugboat operators complete situational awareness during navigation and towage manoeuvres.

At the onshore control centre, managers have access to real-time video data from multiple tugboats, enabling them to provide timely assistance when needed. Moreover, tracking features offer data on tugboat navigation history, trajectory, potential oncoming risks, operation hours and other vital statistics. This operational overview helps tugboat operators optimise towage processes, reduce crew fatigue, lower carbon emissions, and enhance value for their customers.

“We are reshaping the port and shipping industry by extending our AI not only to merchant ships but also to tugboats, which play a pivotal role in port operations,” said Seadronix CEO Byeolteo Park. “Our successful partnership with DRS Shipping implementing this remote monitoring signifies a significant milestone, ushering in an era of autonomous navigation in the global maritime industry.”

DRS Shipping vice president Seongchul Kim added: “Tugboats, given the inherent risks in their work, require intelligence to enhance operational safety and reduce accidents. With Seadronix’s AI, we have introduced innovation to the tugging industry, improving the safety of our workers. We expect that the adoption of AI will modernise our tugboats and enable us to deliver superior services to our customers.”

Seadronix (, a member company of Global Digital Innovation Network (formerly known as Born2Global Centre), unveiled its tugboat navigation and monitoring system, along with Naviss Admin service, domestically at the Kormarine 2023 exhibition in Busan, Korea, last month. The global launch took place at the Europort Maritime Exhibition in Rotterdam, Netherlands, last week.