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Boston-based Sea Machines Robotics has successfully demonstrated its autonomous systems in action onboard a Kvichak Marco skimmer boat during events held along the Portland harbour this week.

Sea Machines’ on-water demonstrations took place onboard the world’s first autonomous spill response vessel. The Vigor/Kvichak Marine Industries-built skimmer boat, owned by Marine Spill Response Corp. (MSRC), performed remote autonomous operations in front of a live audience including those from the U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration (MARAD), of which Sea Machines has a cooperative agreement with. Government, naval, international, environmental and industry representatives were also present.

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 onboard boom, skimmer belt and other response equipment.

Sea Machines also 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.

“Our operation of the world’s first autonomous, remote-commanded spill-response vessel is yet another significant industry first for Sea Machines,” said Michael G. Johnson, founder and CEO, Sea Machines. “But even more important is the fact that we’ve proven that our technology can be applied to the marine spill response industry – as well as other marine sectors – to protect the health and lives of mariners responding to spills. We are proud to support MSRC’s mission of response preparedness and to work alongside MARAD for these important demonstrations.”

“MSRC is excited to work with Sea Machines on this new technology.  The safety of our personnel is the most important consideration in any response. Autonomous technology enhances safe operations,” said John Swift, vice president, MSRC.

"This is the future of the maritime industry. It’s safer, it’s faster, it’s more cost-effective,” said Richard Balzano, deputy administrator, MARAD. “This technology is here and it will make you a believer. We are here because we want to help the maritime industry evolve. It’s about safety, the environment and reducing risk on the water.”

Boston-based Sea Machines Robotics has entered into a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) to demonstrate the ability of Sea Machines’ autonomous technology in increasing the safety, response time and productivity of marine oil-spill response operations.

Boston-based Sea Machines Robotics has announced a new partnership with Hike Metal that will integrate Sea Machines’ SM300 autonomous vessel control system onboard commercial vessels tasked with search-and-rescue (SAR) missions.

Tuesday, 18 December 2018 09:51

Autonomous vessel tech company raises $10m

Boston-based autonomous vessel technology company Sea Machines Robotics has closed a $10 million fundraising round, bringing the total funding raised by the company to $12.5 million.

Boston-based Sea Machines Robotics has completed six live demonstrations of it’s autonomous-command technology, completing a series of manoeuvres on a remote-commanded workboat from more than 1,500 miles away in the US.

Sea Machines Robotics, a Boston-based developer of autonomous technology for marine vessels, reports that it has successfully completed product sea trials for an introductory line of intelligent command and control systems to automate elements of commercial vessel operations.

Maersk has signed a contract with Boston-based Sea Machines Robotics to trial the US company’s perception and situational awareness technology on board one of the shipping company’s new-build Winter Palace ice-class container ships.

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