Technology for remotely controlling workboat and defence vessels has been demonstrated in the United Arab Emirates by Al Marakeb Boat Manufacturing Co.
The technology was developed with autonomous system providers and another boat builder as part of the Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 programme.
Al Marakeb introduced a 13-m unmanned surface vessel (USV), AHM13 USV, in collaboration with vessel builder Al Hareb Marine. During demonstrations in the UAE this week, the vessel was stationed at Ghantoot 70 km from the command and control station.
The vessel is remotely controlled using MAP Pro autonomous technology. This relays engine diagnostics, route management, a live camera feed, radar screens and an obstacle warning alarm in real-time from the USV to the command centre.
Al Marakeb chief operating officer Nour Al Sayyed said this technology was developed through collaboration with other industry players “towards implementing latest the innovations in the USV market”.
Al Marakeb has developed a smaller 11-m drone vessel, AHM11 USV, with propulsion and a MAP Pro autonomous conversion kit. Both vessels were developed for the UAE defence sector to tackle surface and aerial threats, but also have commercial non-defence applications.
This is one of a growing number of demonstrations of remotely controlling vessels in commercial and defence sectors, with more companies testing the technology. Svitzer and Rolls-Royce collaborated with Lloyd's Register to remotely control a harbour tug. Kotug has tested remote control of a training vessel and Purple Water has demonstrated remote control of the Lloyd’s Register-certified 26-m double-ended tugboat, Giano.