Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Artificial Intelligence: A Trend Irreversible & Inevitable

By Niladri Dutta

Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be the catalyst for this era and subsequent ones. Accompanying AI, another integral aspect of our daily lives will be the integration of systems powered by renewable energy sources. The rationale behind this is that both these advancements will simplify our lives significantly. Undoubtedly, these technologies are invaluable assets to humanity, meticulously designed to fully reduce human exertion while ensuring sustainability and a healthier environment.

The concept of electric autonomous boats and electric Outboard Motors (OBM) originated as a research initiative within Tardid. Our continuous focus revolves around delivering AI-based solutions for global Maritime and Naval defence. Driven by our profound affection for Maritime systems and the oceans, we possessed a strong conviction that revolutionary electric propulsion systems, AI-guided propulsion mechanisms, and autonomous capabilities would hasten humanity’s shift towards eco-friendly energy usage in both marine and broader contexts.

Recognising the necessity for true realisation, we acknowledged the imperative of involving experts and proficient companies within our framework. In a determined effort to establish a robust foundation, Tardid partnered with Crown Shipping of Dubai—a youthfully dynamic entity that shares the same fervour as Tardid for pioneering transformative solutions. This collaboration consequently emerged as a pioneer and a catalyst for change, united by a resolute commitment to reintroduce people to nature through enhanced, more intelligent, and environmentally cleaner innovations. In partnership with Crown, we have co-developed two groundbreaking products, DeltaOne the APV and CNAV-I the electric OBM with AI driven torque optimisation.

DeltaOne Autonomous Probe Vessel

Image Courtesy: Crown 

DeltaOne stands as an autonomous probe vessel, adhering to the highest level of autonomy, level 5. This self-governing system has been meticulously crafted to offer impeccable assistance to the Indian Navy and Coast Guard, encompassing all surveillance activities and the communication of observations to onshore stations. Available in two variations, measuring 8.5 and 13 meters respectively, DeltaOne operates fully on electricity and accommodates 10 to 15 individuals. It can cruise at a speed of 10 knots, maintaining an average operational duration of 15 hours.

Fuelling DeltaOne’s capabilities is the Brainbox Aquatle-S, an AI-driven captain at its helm. Created through a collaborative effort involving end-users and human factor experts, Aquatle-S serves as an advanced AI platform designed specifically for self-piloted vessel undertakings. Its sophistication lies in its aptitude for making vital decisions independently, without requiring human intervention. The array of features within Aquatle-S is extensive, encompassing tasks such as charting routes, evading collisions, real-time route supervision, steering guidance, dynamic stability assessment, safeguarding against threats, and the establishment of zones out of sight.

Notably, Aquatle-S transcends mere functional integration by acknowledging that a navigator’s responsibilities encompass more than just one realm. This extends to intricate control modelling of the vessel’s state, integrating tracking, navigation vigilance utilising thermal-optical imaging, Automatic Radar Plotting Aid (ARPA), Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS), alarms, signal interpretation, and more.

CNAV-I Electric OBM With AI Driven Torque Optimisation

A close up of a device

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Image Courtesy: Crown

Dedicating our efforts to crafting the most efficient electric propulsion systems available, we have placed a strong emphasis on cutting-edge technology. Our focus has been keenly directed toward the meticulous optimisation and precise alignment of every element within the propulsion system. The CNAV-I, our electric Outboard Motor (OBM), is designed to minimise losses across components like propellers, gears, motors, electronics, and cables, while taking into careful consideration their interactions, such as the interplay between the motor and propeller.

The paramount objective of our CNAV-I lies in the optimisation of the system’s overall efficiency. This efficiency is defined as the actual propulsive power of the drive, factoring in all losses including propeller-related losses, divided by the input power. The principle behind this concept is straightforward yet compelling, making it an integral part of our CNAV-I. This OBM employs Intelligent Adaptive Neural Network Controller for Direct Torque Control (DTC) as its e-propulsion mechanism, further enhanced by Brainbox AI technology. This augmentation enhances the dynamic behaviour of DTC across varying sailing conditions, leading to reduced torque and flux fluctuations, heightened efficiency, and notable energy savings.

Our relentless endeavours have been directed towards ensuring that the CNAV-I system is as user-friendly as possible. To this end, the CNAV-I drive system includes all the essential components you would typically require. Additionally, the standard equipment encompasses an onboard computer with GPS-based range calculation. Moreover, the CNAV-I system boasts a redundant double winding Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor (PMSM), providing an added layer of assurance.

Beyond these features, the CNAV-I excels with real-time navigation capabilities, health monitoring complete with alerts, weather advisories, remote control functions, a spacious 7-inch display, and all of this packaged in an impressively lightweight unit, weighing less than 24 kilograms. Furthermore, the CNAV-I offers the flexibility of being field-upgraded from 10 to 200 kW within a mere hour.

About Tardid & Crown Shipping

In a groundbreaking partnership, Tardid and Crown have united their expertise to revolutionise water travel with an electric autonomous boat and AI driven outboard motor. This collaboration represents a significant step forward in sustainable transportation and is poised to reshape the boating industry. Crown has gained a reputation for pioneering innovations in electric boating and leading the charge in eco-friendly transportation. They have been offering emission-free vessels that deeply resonate with environmentally conscious enthusiasts across the globe. 

TARDID built Brainbox, is an industry specific Artificial Intelligence driven Enterprise Asset Management Platform for Shipping, Aviation, Railways, Wind Farms, Oil & Gas (upstream, midstream), original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and government. Brainbox helps enterprises to proactively understand assets (machine & structure) health conditions by combining Physics and Machine Learning (ML). This helps in reduced unplanned downtime, timely and better productions, compensations, demurrages, alongside improving decision making and return-on-investment by 10 times.

The unveiling of the AI-integrated all electric Autonomous Surveillance Vessel and Outboard Motor marks a substantial advancement in improving both performance and user satisfaction during water travel. This development not only sets new standards for electric boating but also represents a substantial stride towards a greener and smarter era of water travel.

Niladri Dutta is the Chief Executive Officer of Tardid Technologies Private Limited, and is the architect of Brainbox

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