Norwegian company to acquire crewless vessels from Maritime Robotics

Isbel Lázaro.

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Inspenet, August 25, 2023.

USV AS awarded its first contract for an Uncrewed Surface Vessel (USV). In this project, Maritime Robotics, a leader in autonomous navigation systems and unmanned vessel solutions, will be in charge of supplying and integrating the autonomous navigation system that enables unmanned operation.

It is important to mention that USV AS is a company resulting from the collaboration between DeepOcean, Solstad Offshore ASA and Østensjø Rederi.

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The inaugural USV ship, with a length of 24 meters and the ability to perform various underwater tasks, will be operated from a control center on land and will have the ability to carry out work at sea for a period of up to 30 days without need for refueling.

The USV will be integrated with a work category ROV (remotely operated vehicle). In addition, a newly developed launch and recovery system will make it easier to operate the ROV from relatively small ships like the USV. This combination makes the USV a dedicated deep-sea intervention and inspection vessel , with the USV and ROV controlled from the same remote operating center.

Since 2005, Maritime Robotics has been developing and supplying autonomous vehicles for the maritime industry. Although its products and services have been mainly used for coastal surveillance tasks and scientific applications, a change is currently being observed in the industry. Large companies, such as those involved in USV AS, are recognizing the value of leveraging autonomous and remote technology for larger vessels capable of operating on the high seas.

Maritime Robotics’ unmanned ships

Vegard Evjen Hovstein, CEO of Maritime Robotics, shared his enthusiasm for the realization of this innovative project after years of dedication. Hovstein acknowledged the bold steps taken by the collaborative venture toward unmanned deep-sea inspection and intervention, calling it one of the first examples supporting Maritime Robotics’ vision of unmanned robots collaborating to accomplish coordinated tasks. He highlighted how these collaborations can drive more efficient and sustainable operations in the ocean environment.

The USV will be equipped with various features designed to ensure the safety and integrity of planned operations, resulting in reduced costs, CO 2 emissions and exposure to risk for the crew. The captain will maintain full control of the ship from the remote operations center on land.

The construction of the USV was entrusted to Astilleros Gondán on behalf of USV AS and its delivery is expected by the end of 2024. The joint venture aims to have the USV operational by 2025, once it has passed testing in high seas conditions.

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