Billed as a virtual junior officer of the watch, able to operate 24/7 at a predictable, pre-determined level of performance, Voyager 100 is said to be the first and only software system developed specifically to support Bridge Watchkeepers.
The Voyager 100 series is available in two versions: SmartCaptain is an advisory system offering a basic decision aid for navigation and collision avoidance; SmartPilot is linked to the ship’s autopilot and propulsion system to act as an autopilot. Both can now be installed into existing bridges, to upgrade vessels for increased safety and efficiency.
SmartCaptain acts solely in an advisory capacity while SmartPilot can manoeuvre the vessel on behalf of the crew, who can take complete control instantly should they wish to do so.
Robosys says there is growing demand for autonomy amongst industry leaders across the military and commercial sectors of the maritime environment. A robust, predictable, legally compliant and safe collision avoidance system will be at the heart of any enduring solution. With that in mind, the company cites Robosys Voyager advantages as freeing up manpower for other, more complicated tasks while not bringing the challenges which humans do (e.g., need for accommodation and training).
And it can be installed in manned or unmanned vessels.
Making contributions to safety at sea
“According to reports by professional organisations such as the European Maritime Safety Agency, and Japanese and European insurance agencies, anything between 65% and 95% of accidents at sea are attributed to human error,” says Richard Farrington, COO Robosys Automation. “So anything that can reduce that has got to be welcomed.
“In 2018, a Finnish university ran a study whereby ships masters were invited to sit a ‘rules of the road test’. They scored 90%. They then got a computer-based system with algorithms to sit the same test. It scored 100% every time. The inference is that if you can translate those sorts of algorithms from the ‘laboratory’ to the real world, then you are starting to make a real contribution to safety at sea.
“That is what we are aiming to do with Voyager 100. This autonomous system is highly reliable and operates at a predictable level 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It has been tested extensively in bridge simulators and at sea. It will identify a discrepancy between a radar input and the AIS (Automatic Identification of Ships) feed, flag this up to the onboard crew and keep the vessel safe until the ‘conflict’ is resolved. All this leads to greater elements of safety.”