Ship sail

Autonomous Unmanned Mayflower Ship Arrives in North America

The unmanned Mayflower Autonomous Vessel (MAS), designed to recreate the Mayflower’s historic voyage across the Atlantic 400 years ago, has arrived in Canada. The £1million robotic ship left Plymouth at the end of April and sailed across the Atlantic.

The ship without a captain or crew on board was originally scheduled to arrive in Massachusetts in the United States. But she was redirected to Halifax in Canada due to computer and electrical problems about 1,000 miles west of the Azores.

It has now docked in Halifax harbor to undergo tests and repairs after being diverted from its transatlantic voyage. Project backers hope to usher in a new era of autonomous, remote-controlled or autonomy-assisted navigation.

Read More – Autonomous unmanned ship Mayflower sets sail again for the United States from Plymouth

The first attempt was abandoned after the ship suffered a mechanical failure when the coupling between the generator and the exhaust was fractured. That’s been fixed, and now she’s moved on from Plymouth – and this time has reached the shore.

“We had a decision to make when we had kind of a series of intermittent low-level outages,” said Brett Phaneuf, general manager of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship project. told CBC. “We ended up here in Halifax because it was the nearest port of refuge when we started having trouble.”

Phaneuf said the vessel was doing well after coming through a heavy storm, but the team took the opportunity to get towed by a Dominion Diving vessel about 300 kilometers from shore.

“They were gone [and] we were heading towards,” Phaneuf said. “We met within 200 miles and decided not to tempt fate.”

Autonomous vessel Mayflower completes sea trial

The project is a collaborative effort between IBM and ProMare, a marine research organization. Phaneuf, also founder of ProMare, said the project was a success despite the technical difficulties.

“It’s across the Atlantic Ocean, which was the original intention,” Phaneuf added. at Radio Canada. “Now we know more than before and the data on the ship and the experience we have had is invaluable.”

The project started in 2016 with the aim of reducing the cost of collecting marine data using artificial intelligence, Phaneuf said. “It’s the first of a new type of research vessel,” Phaneuf said.

The ship will be docked in Halifax for about three weeks to undergo testing and repairs, then continue along the Atlantic coast to Massachusetts and eventually Virginia, Phaneuf said.

He added that the vessel will remain in the United States to be used for research purposes and will visit Halifax “several times” in the future. Phaneuf said the Mayflower’s transatlantic voyage will help inform research and development for future research vessels.

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