NOVEMBER 30, 2018 — Boston, MA, based Sea Machines Robotics used this week’s International Workboat Show in New Orleans to show off the capabilities and reliability of its autonomous command technology in a series of six live demonstrations that remote commanded a workboat in Boston, more than 1,500 miles away.
For each performance, show attendees watched as the New Orleans-situated operator planned and deployed missions over secure connection to an SM300-enabled workboat in Boston.
Missions included autonomous waypoint following, dynamic obstacle avoidance and remote payload control of an on-board fire monitor. Following the missions, the operator discussed the various applications for the technology, as well as the benefits, such as increased productivity, performance and safety – which ultimately translate to increased profitability.
“This series of long-distance demos proved that the technology performs as expected and is available now for use aboard many types of commercial workboats,” said Sea Machines’ founder and CEO Michael Johnson. “These products are already transporting the marine industry into a new era of task-driven, computer-guided operations, and are bringing advanced autonomy within reach for small and large-scale operators.”
“It was exciting to see this technology demonstrated live to owners and operators in the industry,” said Sea Machines Board Member Todd Busch, who is also Crowley Maritime Corp.’s senior vice president and general manager, solutions. “Successfully repeating the demos over three days reinforced the reliability and performance capabilities of Sea Machines products. After watching, it was clear to all that these systems are available for installation now and offer an immediate upgrade to marine operations.”
Last month, the company made commercially available the world’s first industrial-grade autonomous and remote-control products purpose-built for workboats. This introductory line of intelligent command and control systems, which include the Sea Machines SM300 and SM200, is well suited for offshore commercial, scientist and government applications.
The SM300 provides remote-command, operator-in-the loop autonomy for survey, spill response, dredging and security/surveillance operations. Capabilities include autonomous command, remote control, obstacle avoidance, pre-planned route following and collaborative operations.
For customers seeking remote-control operability only, the company offers the SM200, with applications aboard fireboats, utility craft, spill-response vessels and others.
Sea Machines is also developing advanced perception and navigation assistance technology for a range of vessel types, including containerships. Trials for this product have already begun aboard an A.P. Moller-Maersk newbuild ship.