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Mayflower Autonomous Ship Launched in Plymouth

Logistic News - Published on Fri, 18 Sep 2020

Image Source: Mayflower Autonomous Ship Launched in Plymouth
Following two years of design, construction and training of its AI models, the new fully-autonomous trimaran Mayflower Autonomous Ship was lifted into the waters off the coast of Plymouth in England. Designed to provide a safe, flexible and cost-effective way of gathering data about the ocean, the new-generation Mayflower promises to transform oceanography by working in tandem with scientists and other autonomous vessels to help understand critical issues such as global warming, micro-plastic pollution and marine mammal conservation. ProMare is co-ordinating the scientific studies working with IBM Research and a number of leading scientific organizations.

15 meter long, 6.2 meter wide Trimaran designed with central hull &h two outrigger wings, Mayflower Autonomous Ship weighs 4535 kgs and can achieve top speed of 10 knots while carrying 700 kgs of equipment. It is powered by solar-driven hybrid electric motor. Controls & automation is dome using IBM Power Systems AC922, 6 Jetson AGX Xavier, 2 Jetson Xavier NX, 4+ Intel-based computers, 4+ custom microprocessor systems hardware with installed software IBM Visual Insights computer vision technology, IBM edge systems, IBM Operational Decision Manager automation software, IBM Maximo asset management software, data from The Weather Company. Navigation equipment include Precision GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System), IMU (Inertial Measurement Units), radar, weather station, SATCOM, AIS. With 30 sensors and 5 AI cameras on board it can operate independently with no human intervention to study Marine mammals, micro plastics, sea level height & wave patterns, oceanographic and environmental data collection

Mayflower Autonomous Ship features an AI Captain built by ProMare and IBM developers which gives Mayflower Autonomous Ship the ability to sense, think and make decisions at sea with no human captain or onboard crew. The new class of marine AI is underpinned by IBM's latest advanced edge computing systems, automation software, computer vision technology and Red Hat Open Source software.

To enable followers around the world to stay updated with Mayflower Autonomous Ship as it undertakes its various missions, IBM and ProMare have launched a new interactive web portal. Built by IBM iX, the business design arm of IBM Services, the MAS400 portal is designed to provide real-time updates about the ship's location, environmental conditions and data from its various research projects. Live weather data will be streamed from The Weather Company, as Mayflower Autonomous Ship is receiving forecast data and insight from the new IBM Weather Operations Center. The portal even features a seven-armed, stowaway octopus chatbot called Artie, who claims to be hitching a ride on the ship. Powered by IBM Watson Assistant technology and created in partnership with European start-up Chatbotbay, Artie has been trained to provide information about MAS and its adventures in a lively, and accessible format.

Mayflower Autonomous Ship will spend the next six months in sea trials and undertake various research missions and voyages before attempting to cross the Atlantic in Spring 2021. MAS's transatlantic voyage will be based on a similar route and pioneering spirit to the 1620 Mayflower which made the same crossing 400 years ago.

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Posted By : Yogender Pancholi on Fri, 18 Sep 2020
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