U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) have approved Sea Machines Robotics’ SM200 wireless helm system.

It will be installed onboard the US-flagged articulated tug-barge (ATB) sets.

With the SM200, the primary controller does not need to be fixed to a control station as the technology offers flexible control for mariners.

The technology provides wireless helm and propulsion control, as well as remote control of auxiliaries and payload equipment.

This allows mariners to complete other operations from different locations that offer high safety and visibility.

Sea Machines said the system will allow the pilot to fully control the tugboat, connecting pins with a direct local view of the task. Traditionally, pilots rely on signals provided to the wheelhouse by another crew member.

In addition, the system enables the wireless remote control of connection pins, pumps, winches and other equipment.

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Sea Machines CEO Michael G Johnson said: “Today, Sea Machines celebrates the confirmation that our SM200 system has been approved for use aboard ATBs by two of the most trusted bodies in the industry, ABS and the U.S. Coast Guard.

“We also would like to thank Rio Controls & Hydraulics for their hard work in supporting the thorough review process and integrating the SM200 with their systems. This approval will unquestionably be the first of many to come for a wide variety of vessel types and is already fostering greater industry acceptance for this new realm of marine technology that boosts the capability, productivity and safety of vessel operations.”