Until very recently, the designers of computers were unable to deal with what is called “SLAM”—Simultaneous Localization and Mapping—the process by which human beings can mentally map out a new location, including hazards, as they move through it. By 2011, however SLAM was largely solved by computer scientists using Microsoft’s KINECT gaming hub, which consists of an array of sensors and processors that are now very compact and quite inexpensive. Problems like language recognition and SLAM have until recently prevented robots from working alongside human beings, as well as on tasks that are not precisely defined. A sign of things to come showed up early in December, when Google bought Boston Dynamics, which builds military prototype robots similar to a type that is dubbed BAXTER. This type of robot can, it is claimed, work safely with human beings, and is easy to reprogram. It is also quite reasonably priced, as is the software that goes with it. Continue reading
There have been various rumors in some maritime industry circles the plans for a second U.S. ship registry akin to some European flag state models are being considered in Washington.
There has also been speculation that International Registries, Inc. the registry and offshore corporation administration for the Marshall Islands and its Managing Partner Clay Maitland would be involved with this second registry, possibly related to the activities of the Merchant Marine Policy Coalition, (MMPC) which he co-founded.
Maritime TV decided to put Mr. Maitland on the spot and see if he would respond to questions on this during an interview in our studio on December 10.
It is now 18 months since the disastrous fire aboard the MSC Flaminia, which cost the lives of three of the crew, showing that the practical consequences of these accidents tend to last for years. The President of the International Salvage Union Leendert Muller cited this unfortunate vessel as a regrettable illustration of the failure of governments to live up to their obligations to provide places of refuge to salvors looking to find some shelter to stabilise casualties. Continue reading
Who doesn’t enjoy Gilbert and Sullivan? Sir W.S. Gilbert, in fact, started out as a lawyer, with a number of admiralty cases, which seem to have made an impression. He would have appreciated the recent promotional materials generated by the maritime arbitrators of London. For example, one publication describes these as follows Continue reading