­Robosys Automation is awarded contract to supply 9.5m USV with AI-driven autonomous control system


Robosys Automation, the AI-driven maritime autonomy & smart-shipping specialist, has secured a contract from Legacy Marine of South Africa, for the supply and integration of AI systems for a fully autonomous USV.

The bespoke fully autonomous AI-driven unmanned surface vessel (USV) has been designed by Icarus Marine and will be constructed by Legacy Marine, which is headquartered in Port Elizabeth (Gqeberha), South Africa.

The 9.5m USV can be launched from ashore or from floating platforms such as logistic support ships, frigates and other mothercraft, to perform patrol, surveillance, interdiction, search and rescue functions, amongst others.

The USV features an aluminium hull, powered by a Volvo Penta D-6-400 engine, with steering and onboard systems, monitoring and controls, which includes payload and surveillance sensors. The USV is a versatile and multi-function platform that allows for the installation of most industry-standard sensors and effectors.

The USV’s control system for autonomous navigation uses Robosys’ Voyager AI system, which provides for the onboard navigation, visual and autonomous control of the USV at various levels of autonomy.

UK Headquartered Robosys’ cutting-edge VOYAGER AI system is a full stack autonomy solution that is supported by artificial intelligence combined with innovative decision-aid algorithms enabling fully autonomous unmanned surface vessels (USVs) from 3 – 340 metres.

VOYAGER AI VESSEL, which will be installed on the USV, enables any motorised vessel or waterborne craft to become fully autonomous. Voyager AI Vessel features advanced Collision Avoidance including COLREGS Compliance, that enables the remote operations centre team to autonomously operate the vessel with the assurance that it will actively avoid collision and alert the teams with information and reasoned decision aids. Voyager AI Vessel provides fully autonomous navigation for uncrewed or lean crewed vessel. Utilising EDGE Computing, VOYAGER AI features also include smart mission continuity of operations under a loss of communications situation.

Nigel Lee, CSO of Robosys comments:

“We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded this first contract by Legacy Marine. A significant deciding factor was Robosys’ proven and fielded AI-driven maritime autonomy software, Voyager AI Vessel, together with Icarus Marine / Legacy Marine’s innovative USV design.

The project was spearheaded and is being managed by Consultant, Eddie Noble of Noble Concentric Solutions, also based in South Africa, who has been supported by Robosys Automation’s regional dealer, Soteria Advanced Technologies, which is based in Cape Town.

Kevin Gray, Commercial Manager of Legacy Marine noted that:

“We selected Robosys as they are flexible, agile and proactive whilst offering a proven, best of a breed, true level 4 maritime autonomy capability.”

Robosys Automation’s Voyager AI suite offers remotely controlled advanced and intelligent autonomous navigation, with platform and payload control which can be integrated to most vessel systems, together with systems monitoring and autonomous hardware options, delivering a proven and trusted full-stack maritime AI autonomy solution. All Voyager AI solutions are vessel, propulsion, and sensor systems agnostic.

Notes to Editors


Since 2002, Robosys Automation has been regarded as the world leader in maritime autonomy and smart shipping applications, delivering pioneering and intelligent navigation solutions to crewed, lean-crewed and autonomous vessels, USVs and ships, from 3m to 320m.

Headquartered at the UK’s National Oceanography Centre with offices in India, USA and Canada, Robosys’ solutions are proven and boast full IMO Degree 4 Maritime Autonomy capability.

Robosys has two decades of experience in developing and supporting AI maritime autonomy and smart shipping solutions with its platform, propulsion, and sensor-agnostic software; for both operational purposes, and for training simulation in synthetic environments.

Robosys’ solutions include its ground-breaking VOYAGER AI software which transforms any motorised vessel into a fully autonomous Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV); which features independent navigation, collision and obstacle avoidance, anti-grounding and dynamic route optimisation.

In addition, Robosys offers numerous options to complement VOYAGER AI, including COLREGS-compliant Collision Avoidance Decision Aid (CADA) applications, to enhance the safety in the support of crewed and lean crewed watchkeepers. Other options include Voyager Platform Control providing Remote Steering, Engine Control and Propulsion Control, together with Voyager Platform Management, providing Alarm Monitoring, together with Switch & Relay Controlling.

Applications are used in vessels undertaking surveying, pilotage, defence, bulk, short sea, search and rescue, and research operations.

Robosys’ international partners include the Australian Maritime College (AMC Search), Maritime Research Institute of Netherlands (MARIN) and the Marine Robotics Innovation Centre (MRIC) at the UK’s National Oceanography Centre (NOC).

Find out more about Robosys Automation at http://www.robosysautomation.com.


Based in Port Elizabeth (Gqeberha), South Africa, Legacy Marine offers a wide range of hull and vessel designs, working with renowned Naval Architects and its own proven in-house design team.

Legacy Marine is renowned for its robust and innovative aluminium vessel builds.  The versatile hull designs allow for the vessels to be utilised in numerous industries, markets and applications including, Government, Tourism, Transport, OPL, Funding/ Disaster Relief, Aquaculture, Extraction, Marine Construction, Anti-Pollution, and Recreation.

Legacy Marine vessels are built using only 5083 H111 classed marine grade aluminium and to SAMSA regulations unless Class approval is required by the client.

Find out more about Legacy Marine at www.legacymarine.co.za.


The USV consists of three main segments:

  • The USV platform, consisting of hull, Volvo Penta D6-400 propulsion, steering,  electrical and onboard systems monitoring and control (fuel, bilges, tank levels, navigation lights)
  • The control system for autonomous navigation, consisting of the Robosys Voyager AI system. This provides for the onboard navigation, visual and autonomous control of the USV (at various levels of autonomy).
  • The payload package, including surveillance sensors.


Following Robosys Automation’s simulated and worldwide live testing spanning from Canada though the USA, UK, Europe, ME, India to Australia, from its UK headquarters at the UK’s National Oceanography Centre, combined with customer data, Voyager AI boasts improved collision avoidance, and enhanced unique twinning to vessel operational characteristics and mission profile.

New and improved collision avoidance algorithms have been devised through extensive utilisation of simulation software combined with real-time challenges. Multi-vessel avoidance manoeuvre scenarios have also been tested and further enhanced, with Voyager AI featuring improved Explainable collision regulations’ (COLREGs) compliance.

In addition, the Loss of Communications (LoC) function is now a licensable feature of Voyager AI, providing peace of mind to operators by enabling mission continuity in the event of a breakdown in communications.

Furthermore, improved vessel track and dynamic navigational path changes are made in accordance with a vessels’ specific manoeuvrability and its other performance characteristics, which results in a manoeuvring path matched to that particular vessel’s characteristics.

Navigational paths are now set and validated according to user-selected chart parameters, Voyager AI can now be swiftly tuned according to the specific vessel operating area, such as ocean, coastal, or inshore waters.

An exciting addition to Voyager AI has been the addition of an integrated Remote & Autonomous Platform Alarm, Monitoring & Control System (AMCS) tailored by Robosys to provide full support for USVs.

Voyager AI now also integrates and controls multiple ship’s hardware, including vessel systems, switches, relays and monitoring systems and alarms. This can range from deck and hull sensors, through to creating an auto-response to initiate an automatic fire extinguisher thanks to tailored pre-set values.

Key to platform integration is the alignment of payload control with vessel control systems and thus Voyager’s AMCS now integrates payload control and the vessel’s performance for seamless USV maritime operations which is specifically aligned to best suit the mission.


Image Caption: Robosys has secured the contract to supply a fully autonomous USV system to Legacy Marine. Image Credit: ©www.legacymarine.co.za


For further information and to arrange an interview please contact Hannah Kent Colls at WATERMARK, email hannah@watermark360.com or phone +44(0)7876 541876.

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