The robot ship set to cross the Atlantic and change the world

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The blocky, 36-foot-long, yellow- and white-striped vessel bobbing off the coast of the United Kingdom sure doesn’t look like much. But Maxlimer just might be the most important ship in the world right now.

Maxlimer is totally robotic. And it’s poised to be the first unmanned surface vessel, or USV, to cross the Atlantic. The journey could prove the case for a host of new oceangoing drones: crewless cargo ships; unmanned oil tankers; robotic work boats.

But don’t hold your breath. Widespread adoption could take years or even decades.

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First commercial crossing of the north sea by autonomous vessel

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 A 12-meter (40-foot) autonomous vessel has sailed across the North Sea with a token cargo of oysters – making it the first commercial crossing by an autonomous vessel.

The vessel, designed and built in Essex, U.K., docked in the Belgian port city of Oostende last week following a successful transit from West Mersea. The voyage lasted 22 hours.

The box of oysters weighed around 5 kg – just a fraction of the current model’s maximum payload of up to 2.5 tons.

The SEA-KIT vessel USV Maxlimer is operated by SEA-KIT International Ltd, and is designed and developed by Hushcraft Ltd, based in Tollesbury, Essex. The vessel can be transported in a single 40-foot container.

Continue reading… “First commercial crossing of the north sea by autonomous vessel”

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