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New Technological Advances: Remotely Operated Ferries

Cody Warner   |   September 16, 2015

Robotics is a community that Deep Trekker relishes being apart of. Much of robotics is pushing each other, seeing where the great minds of the community can take certain competencies and make them more efficient, stronger, faster, easier to control. The world of robotics can be referenced to over two thousand years ago, but one of the most important breakthroughs came in 1898 when Nikola Tesla debuted the remote control boat.

Tesla's breakthrough was important for the development and implementation of wireless radio waves being used in our wireless technology. It lead to many other useful wireless technologies, from television remote controls to torpedoes. The remote control vessel itself was never pushed much further, until now.

Rolls-Royce is leading a project on remotely operated, unmanned commercial vessels. Oskar Levander, VP of Engineering and Innovation at Rolls Royce, believes that these ships could be initially deployed in local shipping capacities by 2020. This would be incredibly impressive and if successful, would change the shipping industry.

The regulations involved, especially in international shipping scenarios, will be a large hill to climb. There will be safety and regulatory concerns where the technology must prove to be accurate and safe. Levander believes that the logical first step for the program is ferries.

Ferries have a relatively short distance to travel and have a high crew cost. If ferries become remote controlled, it will reduce these crew costs. This will be an interesting development to watch as the practical applications are developed with this technology.

What impact do you think this will have? Comment below with your opinion and where you believe the largest robotic contributions will come from in the next five years.


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