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World's First 1,000-Nautical Mile Autonomous Voyage to Begin This Month in Germany

September 30 will be a historic day for marine navigation, as it marks the beginning of the world’s first 1,000-nautical mile (NM) autonomous voyage. The initiative belongs to Sea Machines Robotics, which is going to test its SM300 autonomous self-piloting system, proving its capabilities and reliability.
Sea Machines sends its autonomous SM300 system on a 1000-nm voyage aboard the Nellie Bly ship 6 photos
Nellie Bly's routeSea Machines SM300 Marine Autonomy DemonstrationSea Machines SM300 Marine Autonomy DemonstrationSM300 autonomous self-piloting systemSea Machines SM300 Marine Autonomy Demonstration
Nellie Bly, which was built by Damen Shipyards, is the autonomous, SM300-equipped vessel involved in the Machine Odyssey, an epic journey that will begin and end in Hamburg, Germany. In between, the smart boat will also visit Denmark, which is part of its 1,000 nm autonomous tour. The ship will make over a dozen port stops in Kiel, Troense, Copenhagen, Skagen, Heligoland, and a few others.

While Sea Machines plans to put its SM300 autonomy system at the helm of the vessel, the ship will also operate under the authority of commanding officers located in the United States. The remote team will be in charge of monitoring the Nellie Bly from a shoreside station all the way in Boston, Massachusetts. It is the same team involved in the development, testing, and perfecting of the company’s SM300 autonomous marine technology, which increases predictability, safety, efficiency, and also productivity. Two professional mariners and occasional guest passengers will be carried by the Nellie Bly during its demonstrative journey.

Based in Boston, Sea Machines builds autonomous command and control technology for marine navigation. Its systems are deployed on vessels all around the world. 

Its SM300 system enables waypoint autonomy, remote command, and control from a second location, whether it’s the shore or another vessel. It also features computer vision, obstacle detection, as well as collision avoidance. You can integrate the autonomous system with your ship’s onboard equipment such as GPS, radar, AIS ENC charts, and specialized cameras that can offer full awareness at sea.

The autonomous boat was named so in honor of Nellie Bly, one of the most famous journalists in the United States. In 1889, inspired by Jules Verne’s book "Around the World in 80 Days", she took a 25,000-mile journey around the globe, setting an international record. She completed the expeditious voyage in 72 days.

Sea Machines will stream real-time voyage data throughout the entire journey, on a website dedicated to The Machine Odyssey, so that enthusiasts can have 24/7 access to live updates. More details are to follow.

press release

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