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Plymouth University leading autonomous ship project

Published: Thursday, 06 August 2015   Category: All Graduate Jobs News

Researchers from Plymouth University are set to design the world’s first autonomous ship, capable of unmanned journeys across the Atlantic Ocean. 

The seafaring Mayflower drone will get its power from renewable energy sources and is set to demonstrate the capabilities of shipping and ocean research.

Due to set sail in 2020, the project is set to replicate the ‘pilgrim fathers’ who travelled in 1620 in search of the new world.

The pioneering journey of the new vessel should echo the achievements of those who travelled to America nearly 400 years ago.

If it completes its journey across the Atlantic, the Mayflower Autonomous Research Ship (MARS) will become the first unmanned vessel to complete the feat. 

Potentially, the project could represent the future of shipping as floating drones could carry cargo or passengers.

The project is one part of efforts to transform shipping, exploration and ocean research practices, providing more opportunities than ever before to navigate and track regions  previously deemed too danger to study.

Yachting firm Shuttleworth Design created the vessel which is set to carry out a number of experiments during its maiden journey.

Relying on solar, wave and wind power, the vessel will rely on high-level navigation software to complete the trip.

Those behind the project call it an effort to catch up with other sectors, after claiming that shipping has failed to capitalise on technological developments.

They claim the shipping industry “continues to steer the conservative course, its diesel engines pumping out carbon emissions and its manned crews at risk from piracy”.

“It begs the question, if we can put a rover on Mars and have it autonomously conduct research, why can’t we sail an unmanned vessel across the Atlantic Ocean and ultimately, around the globe?” states the project’s website.

The feat of engineering will provide plenty of publicity for Plymouth University, while its staff will also be able to take advantage of the data collected.

Grad Plus has plenty of graduate schemes that cover many different sectors, including maritime, engineering and technological roles

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