As greater levels of autonomy are being explored we’re dedicated to the development of our ASView Control System to ensure it is always the leading commercially available autonomous surface vehicle control system.
We are undertaking industry leading research and development to increase the use of safe and reliable vehicle autonomy and artificial intelligence. Current focus is in the areas of advanced autonomy and operating over the horizon safely. We are working on this both internally and collaboratively with a wide range of defence and commercial technical subject matter experts.
We have prototyped and tested on real world operations a future proofed and expandable autonomy architecture. Elements developed and tested to date include a world model database, risk based route and path planning layers, last response engine, collision regulation compliant collision avoidance behaviours, multiple sensor processing and fusion algorithms, mission specific autonomous behaviours such as vessel interception, following, blocking and an advanced conditionally triggered mission plan framework.
Planned work in the coming year will include the development of an advanced image processing architecture designed to provide image (video) based obstacle tracking and classification, advanced world model data processing algorithms to model dynamic obstacle behaviour and intent and further refinement of sensor data processing algorithms to cope with a wider range of maritime environments.
We will be phasing elements of this next generation autonomy into the ASView product with a first release in summer 2017.
Defence Maritime Autonomy Surface Testbed (MAST) with Dstl
We are currently developing the Maritime Autonomy Surface Testbed (MAST) under research funding from the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl). Its purpose is to provide a testbed to host a range of new technologies to allow the Ministry of Defence to test and evolve tactics for employing maritime autonomous systems. The 32ft MAST was one of over 40 Autonomous Systems to take part in Unmanned Warrior 2016 off West Wales and NW Scotland and the Western Isles. Read more.
Autonomous Ocean Research Study
As well as defence, we have applied our autonomous technology into scientific applications.
Along with SeeByte and the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, we were awarded funding to carry out a research project to reduce the complexity and frequency of operator input when supervising large fleets of autonomous systems from the shore. The outcome of this project were autonomous behaviours that addressed five scenarios including oil spill, passive acoustic monitoring (PAM), seabed mapping, fish tracking and tidal mixing. The behaviours integrated sensor data and interpretation methods to enable adaptive, multi-vehicle missions using combinations of ASV, AUV and Glider assets. Read more.
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