AI-powered ship sets sail for sea trials and environmental research missions

The AI and solar-powered marine research vessel is designed to collect environmental data that can deepen our understanding of global warming, ocean pollution, and marine mammal conservation. The ship uses IBM‘s computer vision tech to detect ocean hazards captured by onboard cameras, forecast data from The Weather Company to avoid approaching storms, and automation software to ensure that decisions follow international collision regulations.

Jonathan Batty, IBM’s head of communications for the project, said all the research equipment onboard has to operate autonomously even when there’s no connectivity: Sample collection methods need to be automated and there needs to be a balance between what analysis is performed on the ship, and what samples are taken back to shore for further studies. Because the technology has a very small physical profile, it’s easy to take HyperTaste onboard the Mayflower helping scientists to analyze water quality and pollution levels in situ on the ship.

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