Issue 55 Uncrewed Systems Technology Apr/May 2024 Sellafield’s UAV equipment l Applied EV Blanc Robot l Battery tech l Robotican’s Goshawk l UGVs l UAVHE RW1 rotary l Roboat UVD l Autopilots l Arkeocean UVD l UMEX 2024 l CycloTech UVD

80 Four years ago, we covered the work being performed by Roboat, a Netherlandsbased spin-out from MIT and the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS Institute), to develop its eponymous uncrewed service vehicle (USV) for applications including autonomous waste logistics and water taxiing through the canals of cities such as Amsterdam (Issue 31, April/May 2020). Since then, the company has continued to specialise and mature its USV designs for those use-cases, while also seeking new, tangible ways of applying its body of technical knowledge. The most recent to catch its eye was a tender published by VNF (Voies navigables de France), the navigation authority responsible for managing most of France’s inland waterways and associated facilities, for an autonomous ferry to transport pedestrians across the River Seine during the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympics. “We saw this as not just a way to demonstrate the precision and reliability of our technology in autonomous waterway navigation and collision avoidance, but to also do so in an application that was actively being demanded by a municipal body,” says Joshua Jordan, co-founder of Roboat. While the Roboat water taxi provided a number of key design and functional inspirations for the type of ferry that could work, the project needed to result in a significantly larger vessel. “To ensure a sufficiently large and professionally built ferry, we leveraged some prior connections with Holland Shipyards Group (HSG), a very seasoned boat and ship builder, who soon agreed to partner with us on the project as A newly built autonomous vessel is poised to ferry Parisians, Olympics athletes and tourists this summer, reports Rory Jackson Printing a boat ‘Tony’ is an additively printed, fully autonomous, battery-electric ferry set to serve during the Paris 2024 Olympics (Image courtesy of Holland Shipyards Group) April/May 2024 | Uncrewed Systems Technology