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Friday, October 11, 2019 

Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) has teamed up with Oki Electric Industry (Oki) for a joint study on the use of Oki's 'FlyingView' bird's-eye view monitoring system to monitor a 360 field of view around a tugboat.

The system has been installed on the tug Asaka Maru owned by Nihon Tug-Boat of Kobe. As a tug approaches a large vessel for assistance, only a small part of the vessel's hull can be seen from tug's bridge, and therefore, the tugboat relies on instructions through the radio from the pilot onboard the target vessel.

An initial experiment has been carried out with FlyingView, setting four fish-eye cameras on the mast, and a digital compositing system and display in the bridge, enabling the captain to objectively grasp conditions around the tug in real time. This makes it possible for the tug's operator to objectively recognise the boat's surrounding situations. The tug can instinctively grasp its distance from surrounding obstacles and other vessels, leading to a reduced risk of accidental contact with the target vessel and more effectively assisting its safe berthing and unberthing.

MOL has been involved with navigation support systems featuring image recognition, such as the AR Navigation System, already in practical use, as part of its challenge project, known as the Focus Eye series, aimed at developing technologies that will contribute to the company's safety of operations. Oki's FlyingView  system is part of this series, with the goal of speeding up initiatives for enhancing safe operation by advancing joint development of the system, including a study of ways to adopt it on large vessels.

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