Sea Machines Robotics has unveiled AI-ris, a computer-vision navigation sensor designed to improve safety and performance while vessels are underway. It uses digital cameras and AI-processing to detect, track, classify and geolocate objects, vessel traffic and other potential obstacles in the majority of operational conditions, day or night.

The company revealed AI-ris (Artificial Intelligence Recognition and Identification System) during Seawork2022, a European commercial marine exhibition. Computer vision helps improve safety for vessels and is also a critical technology for the advancement of autonomous command and control systems.

Conventional navigation sensors leave the bulk of perception work to the human eye and brain for continuous scanning of the waterway. Fatigue, distraction, and confusion can lead to misses and mistakes. The U.S. Coast Guard reported that in 2020, 36 per cent of boating accidents were collisions and allisions, with the primary cause being improper lookouts and operator inattention.

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Ever-alert and always scanning

Sea Machines designed AI-ris to be ever-alert, with the ability to deliver predictable operational results that can improve vessel reliability, as well as eliminate liabilities caused by human error. Now commercially available, this technology can radically improve vessel safety.

‘We envision a future with fewer accidents at sea. We are revolutionising marine navigation with data-driven intelligence, autonomy and connectivity,’ says CEO Michael G. Johnson. ‘AI-ris enables a tremendous performance and safety increase. The superior capabilities of computer vision and AI will ensure a safer, more productive voyage.’

‘AI-ris is always scanning for obstacles and can alert the operator of potentially dangerous situations. It also labels objects very small in size, like swimmers, kayakers or animals, to those very large, like another ship,’ explains CTO Trevor Vieweg. ‘With the ability to detect, classify and geolocate such targets via optical sensors, AI-ris augments and surpasses the capabilities of existing marine sensor technologies, like radar and automatic identification system (AIS), enabling greater performance and achieving the highest levels of safety. In the future, this technology may also help responders detect marine oil spills.’

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