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Rolls-Royce and Sea Machines partner to develop smart ship and autonomous ship control solutions

Rolls-Royce and Sea Machines Robotics have agreed a collaboration that they say will deliver “comprehensive remote command, autonomous control and intelligent crew support systems to the marine market” and complement Rolls-Royce’s mtu NautIQ marine automation portfolio.

The companies say the plan is to provide customers with “complete automation solutions from a single trusted source”.

As part of this agreement, Rolls-Royce business unit Power Systems and Sea Machines, the leading developer of remote-vessel command and autonomous control systems, will join forces on the development and sale of fully and semi-autonomous vessel control systems.

The combination of Rolls-Royce’s propulsion and automation solutions with Sea Machines’ vessel control products will offer marine customers significant benefits in terms of vessel operations, safety, efficiency and environmental impact.

Michael Johnson, CEO and founder of Sea Machines, says: “Our autonomous vessel control products and advanced perception systems are pioneering the revolutionary shift of conventional and manual vessel control effort from human to intelligent technology.

Denise Kurtulus, VP of global marine at Rolls-Royce Power Systems, and Michael Johnson, CEO and founder of Sea Machines, sign the strategic cooperation agreement at Monaco Yacht Show.

“Autonomous systems take over routine efforts, reduce stress for crews and thus increase operational predictability and safety. The technology makes shipping more productive, economical and contributes to more sustainable operations.

“We partner with those best-in-class and Rolls-Royce stands out as being most trusted. We look forward to serving the market together and furthering the technology that provides solutions for customers.”

Denise Kurtulus, Vice President Global Marine at Rolls-Royce Power Systems, says: “As part of our PS 2030 strategy, we are evolving from a propulsion supplier to a provider of integrated sustainable solutions.

“In the marine sector, we want to provide our customers with complete solutions from ‘bridge to propeller’ with the highest quality customers have come to expect from us. We are delighted to have found another strong and agile partner in Sea Machines to help us achieve this.”

The strategic cooperation will focus on products for remote and autonomous vessel control and situational awareness, primarily for yachts, commercial and government vessels. As part of the agreement, Rolls-Royce Power Systems will receive sales and service rights for existing and future Sea Machines products.

The two companies will also work together to develop new capabilities to provide customers with advanced total solutions that aggregate and analyze all vessel data and intelligently control vessels based on this information.

Claudius Müller, Head of Business Development of the marine business at Rolls-Royce Power Systems, says: “Our aim is to offer our customers highly innovative and integrated solutions which are industry-leading – from propulsion, ship automation, bridge systems to semi and fully autonomous control systems, complemented by our digital solutions like our latest Equipment Health Management system mtu NautIQ Foresight.

“Following the acquisition of Servowatch and the inclusion of bridge systems into our newly launched mtu NautIQ portfolio, the agreement with Sea Machines is the logical next step.”

Moran David, Chief Commercial Officer at Sea Machines, says: “This partnership is a milestone for the marine industry. It signifies Rolls-Royce’s trust with Sea Machines in continuing their long tradition of being at the forefront of innovation.

“Expanding on Sea Machines’ commercially deployed product range, the companies are already aiming at joint efforts reaching far beyond the development of autonomous ship controls. It’s an exciting time for the future of the marine industry.”

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