Sea Machines Robotics demonstrates autonomous systems to assist marine oil-spill response | Automation.com

Sea Machines Robotics demonstrates autonomous systems to assist marine oil-spill response

Sea Machines Robotics demonstrates autonomous systems to assist marine oil-spill response

August 26, 2019 – As a part of its cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration (MARAD), Boston-based Sea Machines Robotics announced that it has demonstrated its autonomous systems in action on board a Kvichak Marco skimmer boat during events held along the Portland harbor. Sea Machines’ technology is intended to open a new era of capability for the marine industry, and the company demonstrated its ability to increase the safety, productivity and predictability of response for marine oil-spill operations. The on-water demonstrations took place aboard the world’s first autonomous spill response vessel – a Vigor/Kvichak Marine Industries-built skimmer boat, owned by Marine Spill Response Corp. (MSRC) – before a live audience of MARAD, government, naval, international, environmental and industry representatives.

From a shoreside location at Portland Yacht Services, a Sea Machines operator commanded the SM300-equipped skimmer boat to perform the following capabilities:

  • Remote autonomous control from an onshore location or secondary vessel,
  • ENC-based mission planning,
  • Autonomous waypoint tracking,
  • Autonomous grid line tracking,
  • Collaborative autonomy for multi-vessel operations, and
  • Wireless, remote payload control to deploy on-board boom, skimmer belt and other response equipment.

Additionally, Sea Machines discussed how to operate the skimmer in an unmanned autonomous mode, which enables operators to respond to spill events 24/7 depending on recovery conditions, even when crews are restricted. These configurations also reduce or eliminate exposure of crewmembers to challenging sea and weather, toxic fumes and other safety hazards.

Sea Machines’ SM Series of products, which includes the SM300 and SM200, provides marine operators with task-driven, computer-guided vessel control, bringing autonomy within reach for small- and large-scale operations. SM products can be installed aboard existing or new-build commercial vessels. Sea Machines is also a developer of perception and navigation assistance technology for a range of vessel types, including container ships. The company is currently testing its perception and situational awareness technology aboard one of A.P. Moller-Maersk’s new-build ice-class container ships.

In August 2018, Sea Machines demonstrated the capabilities of its SM300 product aboard the autonomous-command, remote-controlled fireboat, owned by TUCO Marine, during the Maritime Kulturdage event, in Korsør, Denmark.

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