Welcome to Unmanned Craft Week!

Photo: National Oceanography Centre
Photo: National Oceanography Centre

There are two highly visible trends being promoted globally at present. The maritime and general media are becoming swamped with promises concerning both unmanned craft and sailing cargo ships. Given all the failed promises to do with sailing cargo that I have seen over my lengthy career, I prefer to put my money on unmanned craft. They are already happening.

While I would love to see some sailing cargo ships in commercial service, I suspect it is simply not going to happen. It is all too complicated and inconvenient. Cargo ships require absolute reliability.

Unmanned craft, on the other hand, are already with us. Real money is being spent on their development in both the defence and commercial fields. While we have not yet seen any unmanned tugs or cargo ships, they are not far off.

Unmanned Surface Vehicles • Unmanned Underwater Vehicles • Remotely Operated Vehicles

Meanwhile, we are already noting the operations of unmanned oceanographic and hydrographic survey craft and of mine hunting, guided missile and gun-equipped AUVs. They are in production and some are doing useful work, particularly in the oceanographic survey field.

I am sure that we are going to see considerable development in unmanned craft, particularly in the developed world where labour is so expensive. In defence, of course, keeping your people out of harm's way is a laudable and sensible approach.

This week on Baird Maritime, we will bring our readers up to date with a wide range of commercial, scientific and military developments in unmanned craft from around the world.

Vessel Reviews:

News and Gear:

Recent Important Features:

– "The system has been designed to perform functions including route planning, course control, speed control, and collision avoidance."

Remember to come back every day to see the latest news, opinion and vessel reviews!

Call for content!

Any news or views about the unmanned vessel industries? Send it through to editor@baird.com.au ASAP (between now and August 6), so we can add it to this current edition of Unmanned Craft Week!

We are after:

  • Vessels – Orders, new deliveries, under construction
  • Gear – Latest innovations and technology in the unmanned vessel sector
  • Interviews – Owners, operators, research organisations, etc.
  • Reminiscences – Do you have any exciting, amusing or downright dangerous anecdotes from your time in the unmanned vessel world? (example here)
  • Other – Any other relevant news

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