Defense and Government Industry



Quick Links

  • Remote helm control
  • Remote payload control

Above features, plus:

  • Autonomous command
  • Waypoint following and mission planning
  • Collaborative vessel operations
  • Autonomous surveillance path execution
  • Minimally manned and unmanned configurations
  • Obstacle detection and avoidance

Product Comparison: SM300 vs. SM200 (.PDF)


Scheduled for release in 2020, our SM400 system will provide advanced perception and situational awareness capabilities to vessels.

Autonomous-Control and Advanced-Perception Systems
For Military Boats and Government Surface Vessels

Available now, Sea Machines’ vessel intelligence systems install aboard existing or new-build workboats and support vessels to increase their productivity and predictability, while reducing their overall risk and operational costs. Autonomous marine technology offers a major competitive advantage for those operating surface vessels for national security and defense; Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR); rescue and relief efforts; and environmental research missions.

Capabilities & Use Cases

Autonomous Command

Shoreside or nearby operators can execute autonomous missions, with or without crew on board. Lower-cost, minimally manned or unmanned configurations increase safety by eliminating or  reducing the need for humans to be on board and exposed to challenging environments.

Sea Machines automates tedious, redundant and dangerous tasks, allowing an on-board crew to focus on higher-level operations.

Autonomous marine assets can support rescue operations, expeditionary logistics and humanitarian relief efforts because they can deliver cargo, ammunition and personnel faster and more cost-effectively. Minimally manned vessels can also serve as efficient “floating hospitals,” allowing more room for medical staff and patients. Following disasters near coastal areas, an unmanned vessel stationed near shore can provide a signal to restore communications and connectivity.

Unmanned vessels can be stationed long-term at sea to serve as the vital communication link between aerial and subsea assets. These vessels can also serve as a “floating battery,” providing power to connect stand-off vessels to SATCOMs.

For special operations, minimally manned and unmanned marine operations allow for removal of military personnel from potential hostage situations. Unmanned drone boats can also serve as diversions, allowing crewed boats to complete missions safely.

Autonomous security boats can match the speed and course of larger ships, making escorting of vessels carrying high-value cargo safer and more cost-effective.

Operational incidents can be prevented with obstacle detection and collision avoidance capabilities built on computer vision, radar, AIS and GPS data. Sea Machines helps to reduce operator fatigue, a major casualty factor in marine incidents during nighttime operations, long-distance transfers and challenging sea states.

Autonomous missions can be saved and reused for future efficiency.

Remote Helm Operations

Daughtercraft can be remotely controlled from a mothership or shoreside location, with or without crew on board. Operators can control unmanned daughtercraft 24/7, even in poor sea and weather conditions, and through periods of low light or visibility. Unmanned vessels do not require stop-work periods for shift-changes.

A shoreside operator can remotely activate staged vessels to initiate defense activities or search-and-rescue missions without waiting for trained crew to arrive on site.

For warfighters who are captured in hostile or remote areas, mission leaders can remotely deploy unmanned surface vessels in support of their life-saving extractions, without waiting for crew.

Vessels can be operated from outside of the wheelhouse to provide greater visibility.

Collaborative Autonomy

Autonomous marine technology lets a single, shore-based operator command and control an entire unmanned fleet of vessels, creating a force-multiplier effect and tactical advantages.

Entire fleets can also be programmed to collaboratively execute sweeping patterns to more productively search for downed planes or vessels in water.

Offshore and long perimeters can be defended via a fleet of unmanned patrol boats, which don’t require shift changes, stop-work periods or long crew transit times.

Unmanned or minimally manned collaborative autonomous vessels reduce the resources required for monitoring and surveillance missions, helping to reduce operational costs.

Search-and-Survey Path Autonomy for Repetitive Routes

The majority of operational incidents in the marine industry can be traced to human errors related to fatigue, distraction or boredom. Search-and-survey path autonomy eliminates the need for mariners to manually execute tedious paths.

For marine scientists and researchers, computerized route planning yields greater productivity and increased predictability.

An autonomous vessel executes precision routes more predictably than a human operator can.

Unmanned, autonomous vessels improve the speed and accuracy of repeating paths.

SM200 product image

Remote Payload Control

An off-site operator can remotely activate and control on-board equipment, such as cameras, cranes, launch stations, weapons and gear, antipiracy tools and more.

Remotely operated sensors and cameras can be used to detect aerial, surface-level and sub-sea threats, which are critical for Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW); interdictory operations; mine hunting; heat, chemical or nuclear detection; drug and human trafficking prevention; and more.

In extreme cases, antipiracy equipment can be used aboard unmanned surface vessels (USVs), by off-site operators who can remotely control on-board cameras, sensors and security equipment, and can even delete sensitive on-board data and override controls.

The operator can engage on-board payloads from outside of the wheelhouse to provide greater visibility.

Remote Vessel Monitoring

From a shoreside location or second vessel, Sea Machines enables operators to monitor the operations and progress of working vessels in real time, anywhere there is a network connection.

This “on-watch redundancy” can help to prevent operational incidents and keep crews safer.

Human operators can command and control fleets of unmanned vessels with greater efficiency and reduced operational cost.

Advanced Perception & Situational Awareness

Slated for release in 2020, a future Sea Machines system will use Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) to improve at-sea situational awareness, object identification and tracking capabilities.

Using advanced sensors to collect a continuous stream of information from a vessel’s environmental surroundings, this system will identify and track potential conflicts, and efficiently displays the data in the wheelhouse. Offering advantages in the Identification of Friend or Foe (IFF), this sensor fusion will provide a target’s name and flag, speed, course and more to an on-board or on-shore operator, enabling faster classification of the approaching object as safe, suspicious or a threat.

Past Performance

“In conjunction with Sea Machines, we have developed a turn-key autonomous production model to be kept in our regular stock rotation and available for near-immediate delivery. We’re bringing autonomy to market in a ready form that operators can buy today and run tomorrow.” — Chris Allard, Metal Shark

Sea Machines is now offering government customers a commercially available 29-foot autonomous vessel, made possible by Metal Shark’s “Sharktech” autonomous division. The system allows for traditionally manned, reduced-crew or unmanned autonomous operations to deliver “human-in-the-loop” navigation. Learn more.

“This is very important. This is the future of our industry. If our industry is going to be competitive and safer and evolve, it has to look at remote technologies.” — Richard Balzano, Department of Transportation Maritime Administration (MARAD)

Sea Machines demonstrated the capabilities of its SM300 aboard a Kvichak Marco skimmer boat, owned by Marine Spill Response Corp. (MSRC), in Portland, Maine, in August 2018. Conducted primarily for the Department of Transportation Maritime Administration (MARAD), the demo proved Sea Machines’ ability to increase the safety, productivity and predictability of response for marine oil-spill operations. Watch a summary of the event above.


“We have seen the need to increase response capabilities and also reduce the risk to first responders. We feel this technology and platform will be a valuable tool to all Coast Guard Societies around the world.” — Roger Stanton, Hike Metal

Sea Machines has partnered with Hike Metal, a world-class manufacturer of workboats based in Ontario, Canada, to integrate our autonomous vessel control system aboard commercial vessels tasked with search-and-rescue (SAR) missions. The collaboration will help develop and demonstrate the capabilities of autonomous marine technology for the purposes of increasing the productivity and safety of SAR operations. Learn more.

Industry’s First Autonomous Fireboat

During the 2018 Maritime Kulturdage event, in Korsør, Denmark, Sea Machines demonstrated the capabilities of its SM300 product aboard the world’s first autonomous-command, remote-controlled fireboat, owned by TUCO Marine. Read details here.

Contact us

Contact a member of the Sea Machines team to discuss your specific needs.