IBM’s independent Mayflower ship collapses again • The Register

The AI-powered unmanned Mayflower ship, which was on its second attempt to cross the Atlantic Ocean alone, has been returned to shore after experiencing a mechanical failure.

The ship, which was built by ProMare, a non-profit organization focused on marine research, with help from IBM, set off from Plymouth, UK, last month with the goal of reaching Washington, DC. But less than two weeks into the voyage, the computer-controlled ship collapsed near Portugal.

Mayflower carries several cameras and sensors on board that power computer vision algorithms for navigation. However, if it has a hardware issue, there is no one to fix it. Information about the condition of the 15-meter vessel is shared via an online dashboard, and viewers can track its position and watch a live feed of it while cruising.

sharp eye Reg A reader noted that the ship’s solar-charged batteries level has dropped, and appears to be veering off course, last week. Live broadcasts have since been closed.

Brett Vanouf, co -manager of the May Flory Project, a former member of the Board and Promare Chairman, confirmed that record The ship will be towed ashore. Engineers will attempt to evaluate and repair the mechanical failure. “The ship had some difficulty and we are making a call in port to Horta in the Azores to have a look at it and make sure it can complete the rest of the voyage,” he said.

Mayflower hasn’t made it to Horta yet, so the team isn’t sure why it failed, an IBM spokesperson told us on Wednesday. We notice that the ship’s dashboard is showing it in Plymouth again, this could be the result of someone resetting the location on the base website.

ProMare hopes to fix the mechanical issue and return the ship to sea to continue the journey. flaw sound From the ship’s generator, none of the machine learning software capabilities were affected.

It’s not the first time a ship’s generator has failed. When the Mayflower attempted its maiden voyage across the Atlantic in 2021, engineers discovered that a metal component of the ship’s generator had broken. The diesel fuel leaked, and without a backup source of power, he only had his own solar panels for power.

Over time, his speed decreased as his batteries ran out. The ProMare team decided to recall and repair the ship after it had spent only three days at sea, and announced that there would be another crack at sailing from England to America the following year.

Now, her second attempt didn’t go smoothly either. At least the ship was at sea longer before this latest mechanical setback.

“More info from IBM and ProMare will follow as soon as we have a chance to catch our breath. We’ve made over 1,200 [nautical miles] All at once and we’ll assess, fix and go back out, but we can’t say when or more at this time,” Vanov told us.®

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