L3 ASV team member, Alex Raymond, has been awarded the highly sought after Royal Commission for the Exhibition 1851 Industrial Fellowship. Alex is one of 12 people who have been awarded this fellowship in 2018.
To make autonomous vessels a reality, one of the main challenges is to prove they can be as safe as their manned counterparts, and establish a way for them to communicate with humans to navigate traffic and remain safe, particularly in busy shipping lanes.
At present, autonomous boats cannot listen, interpret and respond to radio signals sent by humans. Alex is creating the first ever system that will enable autonomous boats to interact and communicate with humans using existing vehicle communications methods, such as radios.
Alex Raymond explains: “What I want to do is create a technology that will allow these boats to listen to the radio messages being sent. They need to translate, broadcast and interpret relevant messages.”
Alex’s system will incorporate natural language processing techniques to enable autonomous boats to listen to marine VHF communications and intelligently react to human interactions. It will use existing shipping communications systems, mitigating the need for expensive upgrades and paving the way for an easier adoption on the world’s waterways.
The fellowship will see him embark on PHD studies at the University of Cambridge whilst continuing his work at L3 ASV.
L3 ASV has expressed its delight and full support of Alex’s research project. Richard Daltry, R&D Director and industry mentor said “We’re so excited to be supporting Alex through his research project. It’s fantastic to see an L3 ASV employee study at such a prestigious research institution, the University of Cambridge.
“The work Alex will be doing will be of fundamental benefit to L3 ASV and its products. This project tackles some of the most important milestones along the path to true marine autonomous systems. As the technology becomes more popular, we need to be clear about how these vehicles act within the complex sea traffic environment. Specifically, the newly-introduced interaction between robots and humans must become natural”.
Established in 1850 by Queen Victoria, the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 awards 35 postgraduate fellowships and scholarships each year. The initiative began with the infamous ‘Great Exhibition’ run by Prince Albert in 1851. Taking place in Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, the world’s first trade fair showcased works of industry from all over the world, attracting more than 6 million visitors.Go Back
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