IBM’s autonomous ship completes transatlantic adventure
IBM’s self-steering ship Mayflower has reached North America, marking its maiden transatlantic trip as a success.
Departing from England on the 27th of April, the robotic research ship was two years in the making and was piloted by an artificial intelligence software supplied by IBM.
“After a 40-day and 3,500 mile journey, Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS) successfully completed her mission to cross the Atlantic. She arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia on Sunday 5th June,” read a broadcast on the project’s website.
The ship is around 50 by 20 feet with a maximum speed of 10 knots.
The vessel drew energy from the sun via solar panels on its roof and was designed to collect data to help safeguard the future of the ocean. It has since expanded to a team across 10 countries and has brought in the support of multiple companies and organisations.
The AI took data from a million images collected from cameras at sea in the UK and open databases to detect objects and hazards in the oceans.
It also has cameras, hydrophones, and other equipment for studying marine mammals, microplastics, and more.
“Autonomous research vessels such as MAS – integrated with other shore-based, ship and satellite networks – can collect data about the ocean at a scale and cost-effectiveness far beyond what is possible with today’s relatively small fleet of crewed research vessels,” IBM said in a blog about the Mayflower.
Mayflower recorded all the decisions it made during its route. IBM said that the lessons learned by MAS could have implications for “shipping and logistics, oil and gas exploration, and security and defense-related industries”.
In the theme of World Ocean Day this week, Hyundai’s autonomous ship also completed a trip across the ocean, sailing from Gulf of Mexico to South Korea.
Hyundai’s ship was a 180,000 square-meter LGN ship, equipped with Avikus’s AI-powered HiNAS 2.0.
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