The world of long-range, anti-collision systems is growing and becoming more organized and high-tech. Oscar AI, one of the leaders in the field, is consolidating its various business units around the world and rebranding as Sea.ai, using artificial intelligence to detect and identify floating objects and then alert the boat’s crew in real time about any potential danger.
The Oscar system was founded in 2018, originally for blue-water sailboat and ocean-racing use. It was based in the U.S., Austria, France and Portugal, and used several names, including BSB Artificial Intelligence and BSB Marine for its various branches. Now, all those are gathered under the Sea.ai umbrella.
“Sea.ai reflects our leadership position in providing crews with advanced assistance systems based on artificial intelligence,” said Christoph Ballin, the company’s managing partner. “It describes what we do in the shortest possible way – just five letters.”
The Sea.ai system uses the latest camera technology, including FLIR thermal cameras and embedded visible light cameras coupled with artificial vision and data-analyzing algorithms. It identifies objects floating at sea, assesses the risk, and then sends out automated warnings.
The company has three major systems: Sea.ai Offshore, for blue-water sailors; Sea.ai Sentry, for motoryachts, commercial and government vessels; and Sea.ai Competition, for ocean-racing sailboats and performance yachts with rotating masts.
The Sentry system provides 360-degree situational awareness and an intelligent alarm system for avoiding collisions with approaching objects even when the ship is at anchor. It works with a comprehensive optical and thermal camera setup with a powerful external processing unit. The company says it provides the longest and widest detection range and the fastest detection frequency available.
The collision-avoidance function uses forward panning and an intelligent alarm to warn of an impending collision with objects in the boat’s path.
The object-tracking function keeps the detected object in the center of the screen so you can easily follow its progress.
The perimeter-surveillance function employs 360-degree scanning of the vessel’s surroundings and sounds an alarm if an object approaches within a pre-set perimeter.
And there’s also a manual control function so you can see areas and objects using a 16x electronic zoom.
The system’s detection range provides a tremendous safety advantage: At 2,300 feet, you can see a buoy or person in the water; at 9,800 feet, a dinghy, RIB, inflatable; at 24,600 feet (more than 4.5 miles), a sailboat or powerboat; at the horizon, a large vessel.
The Sea.ai system is complimentary to radar, but it generally is better at identifying and tracking smaller objects at greater distances. It works with many brands of MFDs. Read more: