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Proteus USV launched by Huntington Ingalls Industries


According to a press release published by Huntington Ingalls Industries on May 21, 2021, the company announced the debut of the Proteus unmanned surface vessel (USV) for testing and development of autonomy capabilities. The 27-foot Proteus USV was outfitted with Sea Machines Robotics’ SM300 autonomy system and completed a successful demonstration on Friday, May 14 off the coast of Panama City, Florida.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Test of the Proteus Unmanned Surface Vessel USV in Florida (Picture source: Huntington Ingalls Industries)


For the demonstration, HII’s Proteus USV was equipped with commercial perception sensors, including GPS, automatic identification system, depth transducer, radar and a camera enabling a 360-degree field of view. HII deployed a separate 51-foot dive boat during the demonstration to illustrate SM300 system’s off-the-shelf solution including its obstacle avoidance capability and adherence to the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.

The Proteus USV will enable HII’s continued development of autonomy capabilities and sensor fusion to support the evolving needs of both government and commercial customers.

HII announced its minority share investment in Sea Machines in July 2020. Sea Machines’ SM300 system can be outfitted to ocean capable vessels to enable scalable autonomy, from remotely controlled to fully autonomous vessel operations.

The SM300 is a vessel intelligence system providing “operator-in-the loop” autonomous command and control, plus direct remote-control operation via wireless belt pack. The flagship SM300 integrates with existing vessel systems and sensors to manage pre-planned and dynamically charted missions.

The Sea Machine collision avoidance system can support the crew in a variety of ways. The SM300 system puts the navigator in a supervisory role, allowing him to multitask or even rest, while the ship sails its route. The system uses artificial intelligence to recognize objects and maneuver the ship safely to its destination.

In February 2021, the Dutch company Damen had already adopted Sea Machines' SM300 autonomous control system.