We have 30 years’ of experience in dynamic positioning systems: designing, implementing and commissioning. From shuttle tankers, drill ships and FPSOs to two-man crew dive vessels. Inventors of many innovative features of DP systems particularly for improving fuel efficiency.
After leading developments in autonomous navigation and intelligent shipping, we have now developed our own autonomous navigation system software. The first use will be on a mini litter-picking robot boat. Watch this space for details in the near future.
Sansanc are developing an autonomous surface vessel control system with the following attributes:
- Deterministic: the behaviour of autonomous systems which have safety implications should be verified against the requirements and validated against expected behaviour. Validation of systems depends being satisfied that the behaviour to a set of validation tests is repeatable. Examples of non-deterministic algorithms include many AI systems or stochastic methods such a particle-swarm. The Sansanc system is designed to be deterministic at all levels.
- COLREGS compliant: the collision avoidance regulations, COLREGS, are the “rules of the road” for the sea. They specify how vessels should behave in order to avoid collisions. An autonomous vessel which obeys these rules should be able to navigate in water used by human seafarers.
- Human-friendly: it should be possible to understand the behaviour and decisions of the system in human terms. This is a prerequisite for making the an ethically-driven autonomous system, as well as one which can be understood by human observers and actors.