Cookies help us deliver the best experience on our website. By using our website, you agree to our use of cookies Dismiss

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.”

Related items

  • MOL begins study on collision avoidance of autonomous ships

    Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) has signed a contract to conduct a joint study on collision avoidance algorithms and autonomous collision avoidance.

  • RH Marine reaches milestone in Safer Autonomous Systems project

    Dutch system integrator RH Marine has reached the first milestone in the Safer Autonomous Systems (SAS) project, a European research project in which the safety of various autonomous systems is being researched. Following a sea trial, it successfully tested a specially developed algorithm that fuses the collected data from the radar and the Automatic Identification System (AIS) of the vessel. As a result, objects are automatically detected and collisions can be avoided.

  • Sea Machines and Metal Shark supply USCG with new autonomous vessel

    Boston-based Sea Machines Robotics has partnered with shipbuilder Metal Shark Boats to supply the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)’s Research and Development Centre (RDC) with a new Sharktech 29 Defiant vessel to test and evaluate the capabilities of available autonomous vessel technology.

  • LR and the National Physical Laboratory partner on marine autonomy assurance

    Lloyd's Register (LR) and the UK’s National Physical Laboratory (NPL) have teamed up to collaborate on marine autonomy projects to ensure that appropriate levels of service and competence can be achieved within the maritime industry.

    As part of the framework agreement, the two organisations will collectively establish and enhance the current body of knowledge for marine autonomy. This combination of skills, expertise and experience will be built on to bring clarity to the requirements for the assurance of autonomy and assist stakeholders in realising the potential of these systems in the market.

    This will allow standards to be set and consistently applied and will therefore bring surety to risk management and certification for autonomous and unmanned systems and vessels.

    By partnering with NPL, LR will enhance the delivery of its services and assurance in marine autonomy and gain access to a wide range of knowledge and expertise developed in other aligned domains.

    LR and NPL are currently working together to deliver a scope of services to the THEMIS Project, to demonstrate the feasibility for the world’s largest ocean-going autonomous vessel, which is part funded by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore’s (MPA) Maritime Innovation and Technology (MINT) fund.

    NPL’s head of Digital, Neil Stansfield, said: “The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is excited by the opportunities presented in this collaboration with Lloyd’s Register, where the two organisations complementary capabilities are well suited to addressing the challenge of assuring marine autonomous systems. This work represents an important part of the UK’s national programme to deliver confidence in the intelligent and effective use of data, which is being conducted with a range of partners across sectors and with a specific focus on autonomous systems. NPL is applying a combination of measurement skills, expertise and experience, in areas as diverse as sensor characterisation, data quality and AI validation, to support partners in the development of new tests, standards and regulations for the safety of autonomous systems. This collaboration with Lloyd’s Register will help ensure the UK maintains its global leadership in the marine services Sector, where the autonomous shipping sector is expected to represent a global $52bn market opportunity by 2050.”

    Tim Kent, LR technical director for Marine and Offshore said: “This collaboration with the NPL will allow LR to improve our own processes, knowledge and competency to better support our clients with marine autonomy projects. We are delighted to be partnering with NPL given its domain knowledge on autonomy from the connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV) and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) domains.”

  • Mayflower Autonomous Ship launches

    Ocean research non-profit ProMare and IBM have announced the completion and launch of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS) – an AI and solar powered marine research vessel which will traverse oceans gathering vital environmental data.

Joomla SEF URLs by Artio

Login/Register

Register or Login to view even more of our content. Basic registration is free.

Register now

Digital Ship magazine provides the latest information about maritime satellite communications technology, software systems, navigation technology, computer networks, data management and TMSA. It is published ten times a year.

 

Address:
Digital Ship Ltd
Digital Ship - Digital Energy Journal
39-41 North Road
London
N7 9DP
United Kingdom

Copyright © 2020 Digital Ship Ltd. All rights reserved           Cookie Policy         Privacy Policy

x