Sea Machines Robotics has announced a new contract with Norwalk based seaborne transit company, First Harvest Navigation. The contract will see the SM300 manned to unmanned conversion system fitted to the company’s Captain Ben Moore vessel. The Captain Ben Moore is a 63 inch by 21.3 inch aluminium built, lightweight catamaran.
The installation of the SM300 autonomous conversion system will take place during November 2020. The vessel will be expected to make journey’s of 35 – 45 minutes between coastal and island based farms and the Norwalk Harbour food market. The vessel is expected to use its onboard SM300 autonomous command cabinet as an aid to manned shipping, as opposed to a fully autonomous conversion. The vessel will become a hybrid manned & unmanned vessel powered by a CODLAD (Combined Diesel Electric and Diesel) propulsion system using two Cummins QSB 6.7 diesel engines complemented by a pair of BAE HybriDrive electric motors.
The SM300 will provide the vessel with 24/7 capabilities in addition to allowing greater crew shift flexibility and an improved degree of systems redundancy. The load that the SM300 equipped vessel is to handle is 28 pallets with 10 contained within onboard refrigerators. The news release does not make it clear whether these refrigerators will be commanded by the SM300 as a payload, if it is to command them and can command them successfully, then it will be a demonstration of the ingeniousness of the system.
SM300 will provide the vessel with 24/7 capabilities
The contracting company, First Harvest Navigation has a mission objective of connecting family farms to city customers in Norwalk Connecticut. The area, comprised of a corner of southern Connecticut’s shoreline has an economy focused around the sea and the city of Norwalk. The terrain around the city, comprised of the Norwalk River and the coastline itself is home to small settlements and agricultural holdings.
The company caters to these agricultural holdings running goods between the farmers and settlements to Norwalk food market. The ability to maintain the sea and river borne supply lines in usual times is highly intensive on the workforce, requiring arduous work schedules and little rest. The economic consequences of the US Government’s Lockdown strategy has made regular staff turnout uncertain.
The adjacent consequences of greater health monitoring by businesses and government will allow the new risk of uncertain staff turn out, a long term affair. The inability to be certain of worker turnout during the current situation make constant marine supply work difficult, using labour which might not be able to turn up is not an option. The rigid schedules worker’s previously adhered to can no longer be regarded as doable with a wholly human workforce. The schedules however, must still be as rapid and regular as always. The requirement for businesses to get their products to customers stops for nothing. The SM300 provides an autonomous solution for this human originating problem.
The system will allow the delivery of goods no matter the available staff, meaning fewer stoppages and greater reliability.
First Harvest Navigation sees the SM300 as an aid to its greater strategic picture. The system will allow the delivery of goods no matter the available staff, meaning fewer stoppages and greater reliability. The greater reliability will in turn increase the company’s reputation. The use of the SM300 is expected to vindicate the driving value of the company, that water transportation allows an effective, more reliable and quicker logistical train than the roads. The contract presents more secured work for the company. The securing of this contract will enable Sea Machines Robotics to maintain its current upward trajectory in terms of business growth.