Remote controlled sailing on tugs – heading towards unmanned sailing

The future is nearer than expected for tugs. This Tuesday (26th of June) & Wednesday (27th of June) a demonstration will be given presenting a new innovation enabled by combining several stakeholders’ core value. Alphatron, Kotug (Rotortug), Veth, OnBoard and M2MBlue cooperated and developed a remote controlled sailing system for tugs. This system enables a tug to sail unmanned and to be steered over distance.

The various stakeholders contributed to this project in the following ways: Rotortug is the owner of the tug used in this project and Kotug is the overall project manager. Alphatron installed the camera visualization and system integration in the consoles. Veth integrated the steering and engine control system to switch from local console to remote control and vice versa. OnBoard installed the conversion of the steering and engine control signal to internet protocol and vice versa. M2MBlue integrated a stable data connection with VPN tunnel, an optimized data connection with LAN and 4G bundles combined. The entire IT system is installed by M2MBlue using hardware of Viprinet. The data stream is determined by the amount of cameras and the amount or nautical information (e.g. Radar, Ecdis ) that is being displayed.

This new system will be presented during the ITS in Marseille (begins on 26th June), which is the leading convention & exhibition for tugs, salvage and OSVs. Alphatron exhibits on the ITS with a bridge on their stand. Approximately thousand kilometers away is a tug, the ‘’RT Borkum’’, anchored in Rotterdam. From the bridge on Alphatron’s stand in Marseille will the Borkum be controlled and steered to sail over the Nieuwe Maas in Rotterdam.

Because of the fact, that this system is still in the testing phase a captain will be on board the Borkum, due to the rules and regulations are not yet ready for commercial unmanned sailing. However, the captain will not sail but is a passive spectator. Everything the Borkum will do is managed from Marseille!

Follow the demonstration in Rotterdam LIVE on Wednesday 27th of June on the Facebook page of M2MBlue:

See you online!