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Robotic Ship Sets Off to Retrace the Mayflower's Journey

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The crewless autonomous ship Mayflower.

The Mayflower robotic ship is being piloted by sophisticated artificial intelligence technology for a trans-Atlantic crossing that could take up to three weeks.

Credit: IBM

The Mayflower Autonomous Ship set off this week to retrace the journey of its 1620 namesake across the Atlantic Ocean.

The robotic ship, piloted by artificial intelligence (AI) technology and carrying no human crew or passengers, will make the trans-Atlantic crossing from Plymouth, U.K., to Provincetown, MA, and then to Plymouth, MA, in three weeks or less.

Built by IBM and the nonprofit marine research organization ProMare, the 50-foot trimaran is propelled by a solar-powered hybrid electric motor and will gather data as it goes on ocean acidification, microplastics, and marine mammal conservation using AI-powered cameras and onboard sensors.

The $1.3-million ship's journey can be followed online at

From Associated Press
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