Sea machines robotics, an autonomous ship software and system provider, has today completed a $15 million financing to accelerate its development in the unmanned ship market. By December 2018, sea machines robotics had received $10 million through round a financing. However, the company announced that the financing is also the largest round in the industry.

although autopilot is not a novel concept, the development momentum of the industry is quite strong. Earlier this year, for example, IBM entered into a partnership with promare, a UK based marine research and exploration charity.

IBM and promare have trained a prototype of an AI driven maritime navigation system with a view to conducting an experiment across the Atlantic Ocean on September 6.

in Norway, there is also a pilotless cargo ship called Yara Birkeland, which is expected to be put into commercial operation later in 2020.

Rolls Royce has also announced a partnership with Intel, and has demonstrated a fully autonomous passenger ferry in Finland, with a view to achieving the goal of going to sea by 2025.

allied research predicts that the industry can capture a $130 billion market in 10 years, as it helps reduce emissions and accidents.

in addition, unmanned ships have opened the door for long-term research tasks such as maritime cruises, and the diet, salary budget and logistics support of the crew will no longer be a problem.

sea machines said the company’s driverless communication system can provide the operator with the option of autonomous cruise and manual control.

it is understood that the sm300 can integrate with existing sensor solutions to manage pre planned and dynamic tasks, and has obstacle and traffic avoidance functions.

the entry-level sm200 is suitable for tugs, fire boats, ferries, utility ships, and other work vessels, providing fully integrated visual and remote control options for multi vessel operation.

the SM400, which will be launched soon, has the situation awareness function based on AI. It can realize object recognition and intelligent tracking with the help of computer vision, lidar and other technologies.

sea machines robotics also uses an in-house technology called Talos to connect the ship’s propulsion machinery to navigation sensors for autonomous and remote control.

through middleware, Talos can also accept third-party software plug-ins for payload control and data collection. It’s easy to add wireless broadband, 4G or VSAT connectivity with modifications to existing vessels.