Sea Machines, Hike Metal to collaborate on autonomous rescue boat project

Boston-based Sea Machines Robotics has entered into a partnership with Canadian workboat builder Hike Metal Products to integrate an autonomous vessel control system aboard commercial vessels tasked with search and rescue (SAR) missions.

The autonomous vessel control system will possess features including autonomous SAR capability, remote vessel and payload control, minimally manned and unmanned configurations, and obstacle avoidance.

The first phase of demonstrations is set to begin this summer, near Hike Metal’s headquarters on Lake Erie, aboard a newbuild 27-foot (eight-metre) rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB).

The vessel will be fitted with twin 200hp (149kW) engines, a remote-control forward-looking infra-red (FLIR) camera system, a heated survivor seating area, remote-control rescue cradles, and extended-range fuel reserves.

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