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Saturday, December 1, 2018 

Sea Machines Robotics of Boston, USA, demonstrated its autonomous-command technology at the recent International Workboat Show. A boat at the company's base in Boston was remotely commanded from the show in New Orleans, more than 1,500 miles away.

Show attendees watched as the New Orleans-situated operator planned and deployed missions over secure connection to an SM300-enabled workboat in Boston. Missions included autonomous waypoint following, dynamic obstacle avoidance and remote payload control of an on-board fire monitor. The demonstrations were intended to showcase the various applications for the technology, as well as the benefits, such as increased productivity, performance and safety.

“This series of long-distance demos proved that the technology performs as expected and is available now for use aboard many types of commercial workboats,” said Sea Machines’ Founder and CEO Michael Johnson. “These products are already transporting the marine industry into a new era of task-driven, computer-guided operations, and are bringing advanced autonomy within reach for small and large-scale operators.”

“It was exciting to see this technology demonstrated live to owners and operators in the industry,” said Sea Machines Board Member Todd Busch, also Crowley Maritime Corp.’s senior VP and GM, solutions. “Successfully repeating the demos over three days reinforced the reliability and performance capabilities of Sea Machines products. After watching, it was clear to all that these systems are available for installation now and offer an immediate upgrade to marine operations.”

The company recently made commercially available what it claims to be the world’s first industrial-grade autonomous and remote-control products purpose-built for workboats. This introductory line of intelligent command and control systems, which include the Sea Machines SM300 and SM200, is suited for the demanding challenges of offshore commercial, scientist and government applications.

The SM300 provides remote-command, operator-in-the loop autonomy for survey, spill response, dredging and security/surveillance operations. Capabilities include autonomous command, remote control, obstacle avoidance, pre-planned route following and collaborative operations.

For customers seeking remote-control operability only, the company offers the SM200, for applications onboard craft such as fireboats, utility craft and spill-response vessels.

Sea Machines is also developing advanced perception and navigation assistance technology for a range of vessel types, including container ships. Trials for this product have already begun aboard an A.P. Moller-Maersk new-build ship.

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