Robotic Mayflower ship arrives at Plymouth Rock without crew.

A robotic Mayflower ship without a crew that is retracing the Mayflower’s 1620 maritime trip has docked close to Plymouth Rock.

More than 400 years after the historic voyage of its namesake from England, the svelte Mayflower Autonomous Ship greeted an escort boat as it approached the Massachusetts coastline on Thursday.

In accordance with U.S. Coast Guard regulations for crewless vessels, it was pulled into Plymouth Harbor and moored close to a replica of the original Mayflower that carried the Pilgrims to America.

The 50-foot (15-meter) trimaran was being driven by artificial intelligence software; there was no human captain, navigator, or crew members present.

Technical issues prevented the solar-powered ship from making its intended transatlantic crossing in 2021, forcing it to return to Plymouth, England—the same town from which the Pilgrim colony embarked in 1620.

In April, it departed once more from the southwest coast of England, but technical issues forced a detour to the Azores Islands in Portugal, then to Canada.

Rob High, a software executive at IBM who is working on the project, stated that it is evident that you cannot make the necessary mechanical and physical improvements without anyone on board. That is a component of learning as well.

Robotic Mayflower ship arrives at Plymouth Rock without crew.

The ship was constructed by IBM and nonprofit maritime research organization ProMare, which has been using it to gather information about whales, microplastic pollution, and other scientific studies. Although there have been a few small autonomous experimental vessels that have crossed the Atlantic, this is the first ship of its size, according to researchers.

The conclusion of the expedition “means we can start evaluating data from the ship’s journey” and investigate the effectiveness of the AI system, High said. It will be simpler to gather “all the kinds of things that marine biologists care about,” according to him, if crewless vessels of this type are expected to navigate the waters on a regular basis.

Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *