Damen Shipyard will be working with Boston-based Sea Machines Robotics to support the further integration of autonomous technologies on Damen-built vessels.
In a statement issued today (11 February), Damen said that the two companies will be looking at the use of collision avoidance functionality onboard Damen ships.
Damen’s Research Manager Toine Cleophas commented: ‘This alliance will play an important role towards the realisation of Damen’s strategy, which is built on the continual development of digitalisation, sustainability and operational excellence of Damen products and services. The collaboration forms a part of Damen’s R&D programme Smart Ship and will increase customer value by supporting a more digitalised Damen portfolio.’
Toine continued: ‘At Damen we don’t so much see autonomous ships as unmanned ‘ghost’ vessels, ploughing the oceans in silence. We foresee ships where a number of tasks are automated, allowing crew to have a more focused approached to those tasks that still require the human element, such as the various activities that take place when the vessel arrives in the port. In some situations a full autonomous ship may be required, in other cases only parts of the activities will be automated in order to support the onboard crew, thereby increasing safety and efficiency.’