Mobile, flexible robotic welding system to reshape the European shipbuilding industry

Mobile, flexible robotic welding system to reshape the European shipbuilding industry

SHIPWELD project has developed a robot programming system utilising a HTC Vive tracker as a user interaction wand. Preliminary welding tests with good results have been completed so far.

The solution

ShipWeld is CAD free thanks to an integrated 3D Scanner which allows it to precisely reconstruct the working area. The 3D model also allows the collision free operation of the robot. Moreover, with the use of the WeldWand, a 6DoF motion tracker, anyone can easily and intuitively instruct the robot to weld without being an expert themselves. Finally, an explainable AI pipeline can suggest candidate welds to further automate the welding process.


Existing solutions require CAD designs, long installation times and trained technicians to operate them. They are expensive and not flexible enough for “one time” jobs.


IKH has been in contact with industry partners in the US and in Germany and the feedback has shown a shortage of young welders in advanced economies showcasing the growing need for an autonomous welding solution. These partners have also showcased other potential uses of ShipWeld’s core enabling technologies, where robot adaptability to non-repetitive jobs has been the inhibiting factor. ShipWeld and its core enabling technologies promote the following Sustainable Development Goals:
- Good health and well-being; removing humans from hazardous and arduous jobs
- Gender equality; robots that perform hazardous and arduous jobs can be operated by all genders
- Industry, innovation and infrastructure; Affordable solutions allowing access to lower tech, smaller scale industries

Facts and figures

  • Technology Area:

    Robotic Welding

  • End User:

    Carell SA

  • Start Date - End Date:

    01/11/2021 - 31/08/2022

  • Duration:

    11 months

  • FSTP Funding:

    199 806,25 €

  • TRL Level at Start:


  • TRL Level at End:


  • Number of early adopters raised:


  • Project results
    ShipWeld has the potential to modernise the ship repair industry. Welding unmodelled geometries can now be done accurately, reliably, safely and cost effectively. ShipWeld is the next step towards welding automation.

    Leonidas Carellis, Project Manager, Carell SA

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