Thanks to ever improving sensing, computing, and actuating technologies, autonomy is fast becoming a practical tool for many marine applications. Pushed by the general interest in autonomy and attracted by its underlying capabilities, this talk will present robotic technologies that enable safety and convenience for recreational boaters and marine professionals alike. Beginning with a Grady-White offshore fishing boat powered by two 425 HP engines, we present demonstrated functionalities such as collision avoidance, auto-docking, dynamic positioning, track and follow, and "take me home" from any location to the dock. The underlying technologies, which include advanced robotics based on a custom-designed embedded digital twin, will be briefly discussed.
Pablo Afman, a native from Mexico, is an autonomy and control engineer with projects ranging from underwater to space applications. For example, Pablo has developed the first practical drone capable of producing space flight conditions. He also developed a commercial-grade autonomy package for the recreational boating industry, including auto-docking, dynamic positioning, and automatic track-and-follow functions. After completing his BS and MS of Aerospace Engineering at Georgia Tech, Pablo Afman worked as a research engineer from 2015 until 2018. He then joined Yamaha Motor Corp. and worked there from 2018 until 2022. Since then, Pablo operates his own consulting practice, ATL Robotics.