Thank the robots for a modern marine industry
The marine industry is changing and a City close to my heart, Amsterdam, is leading the charge.
This Dutch city might be a mecca for many raucous hen and stag parties, but in the quieter streets, away from the madding crowds, it is a beautiful City, strewn with wonderful cafes and intimate bars. Last time I was there, and I go there a lot, I was happily sipping a strong cafe, munching on a pastry and doing the final edit of a trade magazine. Happy days.
Amsterdam is also the home of our Bot-Hive Dutch operation, so double bubble.
It also has a fine maritime heritage and quite appropriately, it's the base for a new project called Roboat. Great name eh? It's actually a five-year research project and collaboration between the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The project is all about developing the world’s first fleet of autonomous floating vessels for the city of Amsterdam and, on a wider basis, it investigates the potential of self-driving technology to change cities and their waterways.
Boats and ships are quite capable of being navigated without a human crew, but it’s how this is implemented on the seas and rivers around the globe, which is the key consideration for many research groups and companies.
And from what I’ve seen of quite a few skippers in Amerstam, a bit of help from the robots won’t do any harm at all.