Crewless robotic Mayflower ship reaches Plymouth Rock

Jun 29, 2022, 9:49 PM | Updated: Jun 30, 2022, 1:04 pm
Sea Tow captain Ethan Maass, left, hooks the bow line of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship as Brett Pha...

Sea Tow captain Ethan Maass, left, hooks the bow line of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship as Brett Phaneuf, co-director of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship project, looks on, Thursday, June 30, 2022, off the coast of Plymouth, Mass., after a crew-less journey from Plymouth, England. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

              Sea Tow captain Ethan Maass, left, hooks the bow line of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship as Brett Phaneuf, co-director of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship project, looks on, Thursday, June 30, 2022, off the coast of Plymouth, Mass., after a crew-less journey from Plymouth, England. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
            
              Mayflower Autonomous Ship floats next to the replica of the original Mayflower, Thursday, June 30, 2022, in Plymouth, Mass. The crewless robotic boat retraced the 1620 sea voyage of the Mayflower. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
            
              Sea Tow captain Ethan Maass, left, hooks the bow line of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship as Brett Phaneuf, co-director of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship project, looks on, Thursday, June 30, 2022, off the coast of Plymouth, Mass., after a crew-less journey from Plymouth, England. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
            
              Brett Phaneuf, co-director of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship project, flashes a thumb up after greeting the Mayflower Autonomous Ship , Thursday, June 30, 2022, off the coast of Plymouth, Mass., after a crew-less journey from Plymouth, England. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
            
              A tow boat approaches the Mayflower Autonomous Ship, Thursday, June 30, 2022, about twenty miles off the coast of Plymouth, Mass., after a crew-less journey from Plymouth, England. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
            
              Brett Phaneuf, co-director of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship project, waves to the sport team over streaming cameras aboard the Mayflower Autonomous Ship , Thursday, June 30, 2022, off the coast of Plymouth, Mass., after a crew-less journey from Plymouth, England. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
            
              Mayflower Autonomous Ship motors freely, Thursday, June 30, 2022, about twenty miles off the coast of Plymouth, Mass., after a crew-less journey from Plymouth, England. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

PLYMOUTH, Mass. (AP) — A crewless robotic boat retracing the 1620 sea voyage of the Mayflower has landed near Plymouth Rock.

The sleek Mayflower Autonomous Ship met with an escort boat as it approached the Massachusetts shoreline Thursday, more than 400 years after its namesake’s historic journey from England.

It was towed into Plymouth Harbor — per U.S. Coast Guard rules for crewless vessels — and docked near a replica of the original Mayflower that brought the Pilgrims to America.

Piloted by artificial intelligence technology, the 50-foot (15-meter) trimaran didn’t have a captain, navigator or any humans on board.

The solar-powered ship’s first attempt to cross the Atlantic in 2021 was beset with technical problems, forcing it back to its home port of Plymouth, England — the same place the Pilgrim settlers sailed from in 1620.

It set off from the southwest English coast again in April but mechanical difficulties diverted it to Portugal’s Azores islands and then to Canada.

“When you don’t have anybody onboard, you obviously can’t do the mechanical, physical fixes that are needed,” said Rob High, a software executive at IBM helping to work on the project. “That’s also part of the learning process.”

On Monday, it departed Halifax, Nova Scotia for a successful 4-day journey to Plymouth Harbor.

Nonprofit marine research organization ProMare worked with IBM to build the ship and has been using it to collect data about whales, microplastics pollution and for other scientific research. Small autonomous experimental vessels have crossed the Atlantic before but researchers describe it as the first ship of its size to do so.

The voyage’s completion “means we can start analyzing data from the ship’s journey” and dig into the AI system’s performance, High said. He said the prospect of such crewless vessels navigating the seas on a continuous basis will make it easier to collect “all the kinds of things that marine scientists care about.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

China blasts US report, reiterates ‘no 1st use’ nuke policy

BEIJING (AP) — China strictly adheres to its policy of no first use of nuclear weapons “at any time and under any circumstances,” its Defense Ministry said Tuesday in a scathing response to a U.S. report alleging a major buildup in Beijing’s nuclear capabilities. The Pentagon last week released an annual China security report that […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

EU ministers mull whether to punish Hungary over rule of law

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union finance ministers were assessing on Tuesday whether to immediately punish Hungary by withholding billions of euros for failures to implement solid rule-of-law reforms or whether to grant Budapest more time to improve its democratic credentials. On top of that, the 27 ministers were also hoping to make progress on approving […]
1 day ago
FILE - EPA Administrator Michael Regan stands near the Marathon Petroleum Refinery as he conducts a...
Associated Press

EPA head visits WVa city that had 10-year water advisory

The head of the federal Environmental Protection Agency is scheduled Tuesday to visit a West Virginia county where some residents recently got access to clean water after years of having to boil it before drinking because of persistent infrastructure issues. EPA Administrator Michael Regan will speak with community members in McDowell County about drinking water […]
1 day ago
Alexandra, 11, draws at a school building, a "Point of Invincibility," a government-built help stat...
Associated Press

Russian airfield hit, a day after drone strikes on bases

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — A fire broke out early Tuesday at an airport in Russia’s southern Kursk region, which borders Ukraine, the regional governor reported, blaming a drone attack. The fire occurred the day after Moscow blamed Kyiv for drone strikes on two air bases deep inside Russia and launched another wave of missile strikes […]
1 day ago
A municipal worker sweeps the pavement as a red carpet is installed outside the venue of the EU Wes...
Associated Press

EU, Western Balkans to boost partnership amid Ukraine war

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — EU leaders and their Western Balkan counterparts gathered Tuesday for talks aimed at boosting their partnership as Russia’s war in Ukraine threatens to reshape the geopolitical balance in the region. The EU wants to use the one-day summit in Albania’s capital to tell leaders from Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia […]
1 day ago
FILE - People wait in line to cast their early votes for the March 9 presidential election at a loc...
Associated Press

South Korean lawmakers raise concerns over Chinese voters

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Members of South Korea’s ruling conservative party have proposed a bill that would place tighter restrictions on the voting rights of foreign permanent residents in local elections, which they insist is necessary to protect the country’s democracy from being undermined by Chinese voters. Critics say the efforts to pass the […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Crewless robotic Mayflower ship reaches Plymouth Rock