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NYK joins Japanese autonomous vessel project

NYK, and its Group companies MTI, Keihin Dock Co, and Japan Marine Science (JMS), have announced their participation in a demonstration project being carried out by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transportation and Tourism (MLIT) to demonstrate remote operation of an unmanned ship.

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  • Sea Machines demonstrates autonomous oil spill response

    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.”

  • NYK establishes electronic payment platform for seafarers

    NYK has formed a joint venture with Philippines-based Transnational Diversified Group (TDG) to launch electronic money platform “MarCoPay” for seafarers.

  • Yang Ming embraces digital navigation with Sperry Marine’s VisionMaster Net

    A series of ten feeder ship newbuildings for a Taiwanese liner operator will include TotalWatch functionality for enhanced information display and option of remote diagnostics. 

  • 5 ways Japan is using digital technology to transform shipping

    Digitalisation is steering the shipping industry in a new direction, some comforted by the increasing opportunities that it offers and others wary of the uncertainty that comes with it. One country embracing the waves of digitalisation is Japan. Here are five ways Japanese companies are using digital technology to deliver more efficient and safer shipping operations. 

  • Veson Nautical opens Japanese subsidiary

    Veson Nautical has opened a new permanent office in the Akasaka district of Tokyo, Japan, serving as a base of operations for Veson Nautical in Japan and housing dedicated commercial and professional services experts for the country.

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