The on-water demonstrations took place on board the world’s first autonomous spill response vessel; a Vigor/Kvichak Marine Industries-built skimmer boat, o.

From a shoreside location at Portland Yacht Services, a Sea Machines operator commanded the SM300-equipped skimmer boat to perform the following capabilities:

  • Remote autonomous control from an onshore location or secondary vessel;
  • ENC-based mission planning;
  • Autonomous waypoint tracking;
  • Autonomous grid line tracking;
  • Collaborative autonomy for multi-vessel operations;
  • Wireless remote payload control to deploy on-board boom, skimmer belt and other response equipment.


What is more, Sea Machines discussed how to operate the skimmer in an unmanned autonomous mode, which allows operators to respond to spill events at any time, depending on recovery conditions, even when crews are restricted. These configurations also reduce or eliminate exposure of crewmembers to challenging sea and weather, toxic fumes and other safety hazards.

Our operation of the world’s first autonomous, remote-commanded spill-response vessel is yet another significant industry first for Sea Machine . But even more important is the fact that we’ve proven that our technology can be applied to the marine spill response industry – as well as other marine sectors – to protect the health and lives of mariners responding to spills

commented Michael G. Johnson, founder and CEO, Sea Machines.