Autonomy-Based Pilot-Assist to be Developed

By Sarah Simpson / 31 Mar 2021
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Sea Machines Robotics and HamiltonJet have signed an agreement to develop a new pilot-assist product that utilizes computer vision and autonomous command and control technologies to move waterjet vessels to the forefront of 21st century navigation and utility.

The combination of Sea Machines’ autonomy platform capabilities with HamiltonJet’s propulsion systems and vessel controls, will enable the partners to offer a helm-based system that reduces manual workload, automates navigation control, increases safety and manages many aspects of routine, prioritising crew focus on unique, complex and high-value activities.

HamiltonJet’s commercial customers primarily operate in the marine security, survey, search and rescue, firefighting, ferry, aquaculture and pilot boat sectors, all ideal candidates for Sea Machines technology. Currently under development, the innovative pilot-assist product is slated to be operational in 2022 and will be fully embedded into HamiltonJet’s Advanced Vessel Control (AVX) program in the near future.

“HamiltonJet and Sea Machines have developed a concept that utilizes on-board autonomy with enhanced situational awareness (through cameras, radar, AIS, GPS, etc.) in a way that is highly desirable in many manned applications. But we knew it had to be well integrated at the helm and easy for mariners to use. The skipper experience is foundational to our products, so we saw that by partnering, we could deliver a HamiltonJet-branded solution that feels like a native part of our controls,” said HamiltonJet’s Ben Reed, managing director. “We work with a variety of autonomy providers around the world, but we feel Sea Machines is the best partner for this product due to their commercial focus and rapidly expanding technical capabilities.”

This is not the first collaboration between Sea Machines and HamiltonJet. 2019 saw the successful Sea Machines commission of the SM300 autonomous control system aboard a HamiltonJet-powered workboat in New Zealand. HamiltonJet continues to trial this marine technology and provides on-demand customer demonstrations in the Southern Hemisphere.

Speaking of this new project Sea Machines’ CEO Michael G. Johnson said; “Sea Machines is pleased to again partner with HamiltonJet, the leader in water-jet propulsion systems for workboats and utility craft. We are joining forces to marry proven autonomous-command and situational-awareness technologies with front-running waterjet propulsion systems and vessel controls to ultimately enhance and modernize the pilot experience. Like other disruptive technologies, it won’t be too long before this becomes standard and we wonder how we lived without. We look forward to delivering it to market and elevating the total industry as a result alongside HamiltonJet.”

Posted by Sarah Simpson Specialising in digital copy Sarah is an experienced copywriter and researcher. Working with Unmanned Systems Technology Sarah has developed a passion for sourcing unique digital content and a talent for writing about the latest technical innovations in the unmanned sector. Connect & Contact