Photo: Sea Machines

Sea Machines to Demo Autonomy for MarAd

Posted by Michelle Howard

Sea Machines Robotics has been a progressive leader in advancing autonomy in the maritime space, and today it announced a deal with the U.S. Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration (MarAd) to demonstrate the value of Sea Machines' autonomous technology in marine oil-spill response ops.

The scope of the deal has Sea Machines installing its SM300 autonomous-command system aboard a Marine Spill Response Corp. (MSRC)-owned MARCO skimming vessel and will train MSRC personnel to operate the system. Then, on August 21, Sea Machines and MSRC will execute simulated oil-spill recovery exercises in the harbor of Portland, Maine, before an audience of government, naval, international, environmental and industry partners.

The response skimming vessel is manufactured by Kvichak Marine Industries, of Seattle, and is equipped with a MARCO filter belt skimmer to recover oil from the surface of the water. This vessel typically operates in coastal or near-shore areas. The SM300 is designed to give the MSRC vessel:

• 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,

• Wireless remote payload control to deploy onboard boom and other response equipment, and

• Obstacle detection and collision avoidance.


Falcon fitted with multi-function manipulator in test tank. 
(Photo by Collin Dobson

Saab Seaeye's Falcon for Ocean Research

A Saab Seaeye Falcon electric underwater robotic vehicle is to help support a network of oceanographic and atmospheric sensors that are part of the Ocean Observatories Initiative

From the top of the wing to the bottom of the keel, saildrones are loaded with science sensors.

World First: Saildrone Circumnavigates Antarctica

A seven-meter (23-foot) long, wind-powered unmanned surface vehicle (USV) called a saildrone has become the first unmanned system to circumnavigate Antarctica.

ASV BEN (Bathymetric Explorer and Navigator) is a custom prototype built by SV Global Unmanned

Searching for Shipwrecks

The ice had barely retreated from the coast of northern Lake Huron this spring when a group of farflung researchers converged in Rogers City, Michigan. They were there to map