Boston-based Sea Machines Robotics, a leading developer of autonomous command and remote-helm control systems, announces today that Herman Sr. BV, a Netherlands-based tug and workboat company, will add a Sea Machines’ SM200 wireless, remote-helm control system to one of its Shoalbuster tugboats, the 23.35-meter Teddy, for the purposes of increasing productivity and operational safety during offshore operations. The SM200 provides wireless helm and propulsion control, as well as remote control of auxiliaries and payload equipment (including pumps, winches, anchor windlasses and more), freeing mariners from the wheelhouse to conduct operations from any location that offers the greatest visibility and safety. Sea Machines empowers the pilot to be in full control of the tugboat and on-board payloads with a direct local view of the task, as compared to conventional methods that often rely on signals relayed from another crew member to the wheelhouse.
Herman Sr. operates Teddy in offshore waters for a variety of marine projects, from towing and cable pulling to mooring and dredge support.
“No longer bound to a fixed control station, our crew will use Sea Machines’ wireless helm to monitor operations from the tugboat’s upper decks or wherever visibility is greatest, a valuable capability that increases both productivity and safety,” said Herman Sr.’s Erwin van Dodewaard, operations manager. “This system is intuitive to use and, once installed, will be valuable to our crews as they operate our vessel Teddy during challenging projects, such as large and overweight offshore tows.”
“Improving visibility and at-sea safety is a game-changer for any marine operator, but it is especially true for Herman Sr., which operates in challenging offshore conditions that include reduced visibility, waves and weather,” said Sea Machines’ Frank Relou, European business development manager. “Working conditions that fall into the ‘dull, dirty and dangerous’ category are ideally suited for our systems, as they support crews with new, innovative capabilities that deliver greater productivity, reliability and safety. We look forward to delivering the SM200 to Herman Sr. and the crew aboard Teddy.”
Earlier this year, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) approved the SM200 for installation aboard an articulated tug-barge (ATB) class of U.S.- flag tugboats. An industry first in wireless vessel control, the two bodies granted their approvals after an exhaustive review of Sea Machines’ technology and the SM200’s applications aboard these tugs, deeming the system satisfactory for shipboard installation and trials.
Sea Machines’ SM Series of products, which includes both the SM200 and SM300, provides marine operators a new era of remote, task-driven, computer-guided vessel control, bringing advanced autonomy within reach for small- and large-scale operations. SM products are ideally suited for existing or new-build commercial vessels, including fireboats, commercial survey workboats, spill-response vessels, security/patrol/search-and-rescue craft, offshore wind support vessels, aquaculture workboats and others.