Yanmar is working on new technologies for auto-docking and robotic boats. The company said in a statement that it expects the auto-docking technology to eventually be used on recreational boats.
The company released images of a new autonomous robotic boat maneuvering off Japan. The boat will be used in operations in “dangerous waters, maritime surveys or smart fisheries,” according to the statement.
Yanmar said it has been working to combine the expertise of its boatbuilding and recreational marine products with development of IT and robotics technologies. It expects the robotic boat technologies will be used in marine surveys and infrastructure inspections.
The robotic boat was built by Yanmar with FRP construction and “middleware” technology for different applications. The statement said the new technology was not developed only for commercial vessels and can be “integrated into Yanmar vessels to reduce the hassle of docking and make boating a more enjoyable experience.”
The boat was developed by Yanmar’s Strategic Innovation Program for next-generation technologies. It will be operated by the Japan Agency for Marine Earth Science as an autonomous surface vehicle that monitors marine resources. The company said that future activities will involve testing with universities and research institutes.