Skip to main content



Thursday, May 20, 2021 

US shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) has debuted its unmanned surface vessel (USV) which will be used for testing and development of autonomy capabilities, in association with Boston-based Sea Machines Robotics.

The 27ft (8m) Proteus USV, outfitted with Sea Machines Robotics’ SM300 autonomy system, recently completed a successful demonstration off the coast of Panama City, Florida

HHI Technical Solutions Unmanned Systems President Duane Fotheringham said: “We are thrilled to launch our Proteus USV. The vessel performed exactly as expected with the SM300 system’s proven and safe autonomous capability. This marks a significant milestone in our commitment to advancing our unmanned systems capabilities and our continued partnership with Sea Machines to further develop USV solutions for our customers.”

For the demonstration, HII’s Proteus USV was equipped with commercial perception sensors, including GPS, AIS, depth transducer, radar and a camera enabling a 360-degree field of view. HII deployed a separate 51ft dive boat during the demonstration to illustrate SM300 system’s off-the-shelf solution, including its obstacle avoidance capability and adherence to the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGs).

“Our autonomy systems are built around core principles of capability, reliability and ease of use. This initial Proteus USV demonstration proved the SM300 system performs as promised, and we look forward to our continued partnership with HII supporting current and coming 21st century operational requirements on water,” said Sea Machines’ CEO Michael G Johnson.

The Proteus USV will enable HII’s continued development of autonomy capabilities and sensor fusion to support the evolving needs of both government and commercial customers. HII announced a minority share investment in Sea Machines in July 2020. Sea Machines’ SM300 system can be outfitted to ocean capable vessels to enable scalable autonomy, from remotely controlled to fully autonomous vessel operations.

Reader Comments (0)

There are currently no comments on this article. Why not be the first and leave your thoughts below.

Leave Your Comment

Please keep your comment on topic, any inappropriate comments may be removed.

Return to index