Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Future land-based centre for controlling a fleet of autonomous RC vessels across the world

The film marks the final stage of research that will inform the design and construction of an effective remote operations centre which is essential to the company’s plans to develop autonomous and remote controlled vessels.
The film is the latest in a series to present Rolls-Royce’s vision of future shipping known as the ‘oX’ operator experience concept and introduced in 2014.
Previous studies have looked at the user experience of future command bridges on Platform Supply Vessels, container ships and tugs
It explored the lessons learned from other industries where remote operation is commonplace, such as aviation, energy, defence, and space exploration.

From Motorship

Rolls-Royce has revealed a futuristic vision for shore-based operation of unmanned ships, and plans to build a project demonstrator by the end of the decade.

The shore control centre is the latest in the company’s oX (operator experience) series – previous instalments have focused on future bridge concepts for PSVs, tugs and containerships – and employs interactive smart screens, voice recognition, holograms and surveillance drones to remotely control and monitor unmanned vessels.
It is staffed by a crew of seven to 14 operators and is capable of operating and monitoring a global fleet.

Rolls-Royce presents a vision of a future land-based control centre in which a small crew of 7 to 14 people monitor and control a fleet of remote controlled and autonomous vessels across the world.
The crew uses interactive smart screens, voice recognition systems, holograms and surveillance drones to monitor what is happening both on board and around the ship.
Remote and autonomous ships are one of three elements of the company’s innovative Ship Intelligence strategy, which will enable customers to transform their marine businesses by harnessing the power of big data.

Iiro Lindborg, general manager, remote & autonomous operations, ship intelligence, Rolls-Royce, said: “Unmanned and remote-controlled transportation systems will become a common feature of human life. They offer unprecedented flexibility and operational efficiency. Our research aims to understand the human factors involved in monitoring and operating ships remotely. It identifies ways crews ashore can use tools to get a realistic feel for what is happening at sea.”

 OnboardUX automated logbook

The research, undertaken by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and University of Tampere’s Unit for Computer Human Interaction (TAUCHI) in collaboration with Rolls-Royce, explored the lessons learned from other industries that already use remote operation, including aviation, energy, defence, and space exploration.

 New digital opportunities will shape the world of work in various industries and VTT’s research helps create the conditions needed for digitalization to promote sustainable development, employment and well-being in society.

Mikael Wahlström, senior scientist, VTT, said: “We need to understand current work by field studies. This allows the creation of innovations that reflect the positive aspects of existing job practices, which are not always obvious. If, for example, a mechanic can assess the engine status by hearing the engine noise, it should be beneficial to be able to do the same at a remote control centre.”

Eija Kaasinen, principal scientist, VTT added: “Unmanned ships need to be monitored and controlled and this will require entirely new kinds of work roles, tasks, tools and environments. The future shore control centre concept has been designed by emphasising the user experience of the human operators. By focusing on the operators’ point of view, it is possible to introduce meaningful, pleasurable and engaging new roles for the ships’ shore control centre professionals.

On 5 April in Helsinki Rolls-Royce will reveal separate research findings, which it believes will set the direction for the development of remote and autonomous shipping.

Remote and autonomous ships are one of three elements of the company’s Ship Intelligence strategy, a portfolio of innovative products and services – comprising health management solutions, optimization and decision support, and remote and autonomous operations – which will enable customers to transform their operations by harnessing the power of big data.

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