The University of Plymouth is aiming to highlight the future potential of autonomous ocean science as part of a pioneering voyage commemorating the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower.
The Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS), which left Plymouth on Tuesday 15 June, is attempting to complete a crossing of the Atlantic Ocean.
If successful, it will be one of the first self-navigating, full-sized vessels to cross the Atlantic and opens the door on a new era of autonomous research ships.
However, during its journey data from the ship will be relayed back to scientists from the University to support research on core areas including marine mammal detection, marine plastics and ocean chemistry.
The project is being coordinated through a consortium headed by marine research organisation ProMare, with the research element of the voyage being led by the University, IBM and ProMare.
With no human captain or onboard crew, the research vessel uses IBM’s automation, AI and edge computing technologies to sense, think and make decisions at sea.
People from all over the world can follow the ship’s progress via the mission dashboard which includes live video, maps and data streaming.