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Nellie Bly nears halfway point of autonomous voyage

The Machine Odyssey’s autonomous vessel Nellie Bly has completed nearly 400 nautical miles (40 per cent) of its planned voyage, arriving safely in Copenhagen on October 5.

Sea Machines’ SM300 autonomous system, which has enabled Boston-based mariners to command and control the Nellie Bly from a control room more than 3,600 miles away, had logged 355 nms travelled and executed 22 collision avoidance manoeuvres, as well as provided thousands of virtual onlookers with live camera views and situational awareness data along the way.

“Upon arrival into Copenhagen we have been greeted by very welcoming locals who embrace our technology. We continue to push the boundaries and capabilities of our system on each and every leg. The SM300 is proving to be a resilient piece of technology that is allowing us to complete our legs with ease,” said Sea Machines’ Captain Steve Turano, project manager for The Machine Odyssey.

“We expected the SM300 to perform incredibly well at sea based on the system’s proven durability across customer vessels around the world, but this particular voyage is a challenging one, both operationally and due to weather. We’ve been pleased with the SM300’s ability to remain securely connected, execute the course as planned by the commanders in Boston, and reliably avoid obstacles. It’s exciting to showcase the future of marine navigation in real time right now,” said Sea Machines’ Captain Bill Powers, who has ridden aboard the Nellie Bly for the majority of the journey.

The morning after Nellie Bly’s arrival in Copenhagen, Sea Machines welcomed guests for a planned celebration and educational event on Ofelia Harbor Pier, in nearby Luftkastellet.

Opening the event, Sea Machines’ CEO Michael G. Johnson thanked The Machine Odyssey sponsors and addressed the crowd: “We appreciate you all joining us today, a day to celebrate the momentous change that is taking place right now in our industry. Technology, such as autonomy, moves all industries forward, enabling them to be healthier, more robust and more competitive. Everyone here recognises that the ocean maritime industry has been key for our society. Technology like ours is strengthening this industry by enabling more ships to work on water and creating more direct supply chains point-to-point on the water. It’s time to move our industries into the 21st industry with technology like what you’re witnessing today.”

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