Photo: Sea Machines

Sea Machines’ autonomous voyage 40 pct complete

Autonomous tech firm Sea Machines has completed nearly 400 nautical miles of autonomous voyage The Machine Odyssey, marking the occasion with a special event in Copenhagen.

The Machine Odyssey’s Nellie Bly arrived in Copenhagen on 5 October after starting the 1,000 NM voyage around Denmark in September.

Sea Machines'
Photo: Sea Machines

Upon arrival, 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 maneuvers, as well as provided thousands of virtual onlookers with live camera views and situational awareness data along the way.

“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,” Captain Steve Turano, Sea Machines’ project manager for The Machine Odyssey, commented.

“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,” Bill Powers, Sea Machines’ Captain who has ridden aboard the Nellie Bly for the majority of the journey, said.

The vessel’s arrival in Copenhagen coincided with the 104th session of the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) that was held from 4 to 8 October.

During the session, the MSC initiated the development of a goal-based instrument for autonomous ships.

Specifically, MSC 104 agreed to develop a new goal-based instrument for maritime autonomous surface ships (MASS). It was also agreed that the ultimate goal would be the preparation of a mandatory instrument to address MASS operations in the IMO regulatory framework. The work will be initiated by the development of a roadmap at MSC 105 (April 2022).