Off the shelf remote and autonomous workboats

The Sea Machines 300 is an industrial-grade autonomous command and dynamic vessel management system The Sea Machines 300 is an industrial-grade autonomous command and dynamic vessel management system

Boston, USA-headquartered Sea Machines Robotics has announced a collaboration with European boatbuilder Tuco Marine of Denmark to offer remote and autonomous control products as factory options in their line of ProZero workboats.

Tuco Marine and Sea Machines successfully demonstrated the remote command capability of the Sea Machines 300 technology at Danish Maritime Authority's “Zooming into Marine Autonomy Conference” in November where they impressed attendees by giving live remote command of the water craft to Danish Minister of Industry Brian Mikkelsen.

Tuco CEO Jonas Pedersen said, “Sea Machines provides technology that enables new methods of optimized operation of our workboats.  We see immediate market opportunities for remote and autonomous operation in offshore surveying, security, dredging and more.  In the spirit of innovation on which we founded Tuco, our collaboration with a cutting-edge technology leader like Sea Machines positions our company for the future state of the industry.”

“A production boat builder offering Sea Machines products is a major step in making remote command and autonomous vessel technology available to commercial operators,” said Sea Machines' CEO, Michael Johnson. “We are taking the mystery out of marine autonomy by putting the technology forward as a tangible product that is ready to use, and we are pleased to partner with a visionary company like Tuco in our first OEM partnership”.

The Sea Machines 300 is an industrial-grade autonomous command and dynamic vessel management system that readily interfaces with primary and auxiliary vessel systems. The system uses common modern navigation instruments for positioning and perception, including DGPS, AIS, Radar, and camera-based vision. All autonomy system components are mounted in a standardized stainless steel, IP67 electrical enclosure. Rack-mounted configurations are also available.

Supplied with a graphical user interface, branded TALOS, which enables real time local and remote vessel telemetry and data feed as well as navigation route planning.  The system also comes with a remote control industrial joystick. In autonomy mode, the user can plan and execute tasks such as waypoint tracking, search or survey grids, or collaborative tracking of another vessel. The Sea Machines 300 includes a first generation of obstacle and collision avoidance algorithms which abides with IMO’s COLREGs and Rules of the Road for vessel interactions.

The Sea Machines 300 was announced in September 2017, and the company has plans for two more product releases within the next year.

Sea Machines claims its 300 device provides an immediate upgrade to traditional workboat tasks such as bathymetric surveying, seismic support, spill operations, dredging, aquaculture, surveillance, area marking, and escort.

By Jake Frith

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