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Ships

The micro-flyer scouts the hallways of the USS Shadwell (Photo: CMU)

This week, the US Office of Naval Research released details regarding a demo of its Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot (SAFFiR) conducted last November. The robot, as its name implies, is designed to help human crews fight fires in the close confines of naval vessels. In order to get to those fires quicker, SAFFiR may ultimately receive some help itself from an autonomous drone, that was also part of the demonstration.  Read More

The paths of some of the satellites identified in the study

According to a scientist from the University of Leicester in the UK, the search for missing ships and sea-crossing aircraft – such as Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 – would be much easier if existing satellites were simply used differently. Dr. Nigel Bannister is developing a system in which spacecraft that already keep an eye on the land could also turn their attention to the sea.  Read More

The hull of the cargo ship Vindskip acts as a large wing sail (Image: Lade AS)

In 2013, Norway's Lade AS unveiled designs for Vindskip, a "hybrid" merchant ship which aims to harness the wind courtesy of a specially-shaped hull, in the process taking the burden off of its natural-gas powered engines and saving fuel. Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute's Center for Maritime Logistics and Services (CML) have been working to help realize this goal by developing an algorithm that will allow the Vindskip's navigation system to use the combination of power and sail at its most economical.  Read More

The CSCL Globe, shown here on sea trials, has embarked on its maiden voyage (Photo: HHI)

The world's largest capacity container ship has set off on its maiden voyage. Measuring 1,312 ft in length and 192 ft wide – or the size of four soccer fields for those more familiar with that alternative unit of measurement – the CSCL Globe can carry 19,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) shipping containers.  Read More

University of Twente researcher Dian Borgerink, with a manipulator arm that he developed f...

In order to maintain a consistent buoyancy as their cargo loads change, ocean-going ships pump seawater in and out of their ballast tanks. Needless to say, that salty water isn't exactly the least-corrosive liquid in the world. That's why crews of inspectors regularly have to go inside those steel tanks, to check for damage. Thanks to the German/Dutch RoboShip project, however, autonomous robots may soon be performing the task.  Read More

Two70 is deigned to be a multifunctional entertainment space

Earlier this month, Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas cruise ship, with its high-tech Bionic Bar and Two70 multimedia theater, set sail on its maiden voyage. Gizmag chatted on the phone with one of the key people behind the interactive performance venue Two70, Tim Magill of 5+design, for a look behind the scenes of the space and its robotic performers.  Read More

3D models created from the use of technology such as unmanned vehicles will allow official...

The observance in the United States this week of Veterans Day, a federal holiday honoring those who have served in the American military, holds special meaning for those who lost loved ones when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in Hawaii during World War II. An underwater 3D imaging project is using modern technology to bring greater insights to this tragic historical event.  Read More

The BAE VR system is based on laser tracking and an interactive wand

Like many endeavors, making warships is a matter of specialization, with the various parts of the project scattered about the country or even across the world. For the Royal Navy and its principal shipbuilder BAE systems, this means engineers in Glasgow, Portsmouth, and Bristol having to work together despite being hundreds of miles apart. BAE’s answer is a network of "visualization suites" that allow teams to meet in a virtual environment where they can build and test designs as full-scale 3D prototypes before sending them to the shipyards.  Read More

The robot bartenders aboard the Quantum of the Seas can make two drinks a minute

Not content with working as sales assistants and burger flippers, robots are landing jobs on cruise ships as bartenders and entertainers. Leading the way is Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas, which is currently on its maiden voyage.  Read More

A ship's bridge, with the Marine Armor System deployed

There are a number of systems out there designed to keep pirates from boarding ships, incorporating everything from lasers to acoustic devices to writhing water hoses. However, what happens if the pirates get on board anyway? If the ship is equipped with the Marine Armor System, a series of ballistic blinds will roll down throughout the vessel, blocking access to its interior.  Read More

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