Sea Machines Robotics is Bringing Self-Driving Technology to Boats



Sea Machines Robotics is changing the way humanity moves on water.  The Boston-based startup is developing autonomous technologies that will herald a smarter, safer and more efficient era of marine operations brought forward through self-aware & self-driving boats and ships.

With autonomy readily making its way into many traditional land-based and airborne sectors, the massive marine domain is even better suited for autonomous systems with fewer barriers to entry, a high risk operating environment, and an accommodating regulatory space.

More than 20 million vessels are plying the world’s waters including 15 million recreational boats and 100,000 cargo ships; Sea Machines foresees autonomy disrupting this largely manual sector and rapidly developing into a $60 billion space.

The founder of Sea Machines, Michael Johnson says, “The transition of one of the world’s oldest forms of transportation to autonomous operation is inevitable and necessary.  Sea Machines provides systems that give real and immediate value to vessel operators by increasing safety and efficiency.  And our technology will facilitate entirely new oceanic applications, enabling better use of the seas to accommodate a growing world.”

Sea Machines’ autonomous technology will contribute to our advancing society by:

  • Eliminating everyday boating accidents and shipwrecks through the use of self-aware self-driving navigation.
  • Increasing commercial marine productivity by automating vessel tasks.
  • Furthering safety of personnel by using unmanned vessels to perform work in hazardous environments, like oil spills, marine firefighting, or other high risk operations.
  • Enabling new remote oceanic industries such as deep sea fish farming and clean energy production.

Sea Machines is led by accomplished marine professionals who are known for their leading roles in major ocean projects such as the mega-salvage of the wrecked Italian cruise ship COSTA CONCORDIA.

The technology is currently being tested on commercial vessels in Boston Harbor where Sea Machines has demonstrated remote piloting of an unmanned vessel, unmanned oil spill response, and autonomous waypoint navigation.  Upcoming demonstrations include collaborative multi-vessel operations and automated obstacle avoidance.

Over the last two decades, the greater Boston-area has been the birthplace of the world’s leading underwater autonomous vehicle companies, and now Sea Machines is taking the baton to lead the emergence of self-driving surface vessels.

Sea Machines Robotics (Boston) is a new technology company focused on bringing autonomous self-driving systems to the boating and maritime industries.  Further information is at and Twitter @SeaMachines.  

Also read our earlier Mfame article: Sailing The High Seas, Autonomously

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Source: Solar Voyager