Artificial Intelligence and autonomous lifeboats may revolutionize sea rescue operations in the future

Vaf Blog

Sam Mayall, a sailor with experience in witnessing treacherous accidents offshore, founded Zelim in 2017 to address the risks of working in the ocean. The startup, based in Edinburgh, has developed AI-powered technology called ZOE, which can detect and track people, vessels, and objects in real-time and in stormy seas with 90% accuracy. ZOE aims to provide a safety net around offshore assets, enabling fast and efficient rescue in case of emergencies. Zelim has recently inked a deal with offshore wind giant Ocean Winds to trial its technology at a floating wind farm off the coast of Portugal.

The increase in offshore wind farms in Europe has led to a growing number of workers at sea, in addition to those already working in industries such as oil and gas, maritime research, and fishing. Zelim’s technology aims to address the challenges of search and rescue at sea, particularly in stormy conditions when accidents are more likely to occur. In addition to AI-powered detection, Zelim is also developing an unmanned lifeboat equipped with the ZOE detection system, capable of rescuing drowning people autonomously. The vessel is designed to rescue nine people at once and can extract someone from the water in just 30 seconds.

Zelim is also working on developing its AI tech further by training the machine learning model on more than five million images of real-life people in the water, provided by the US coast guard. The trials with Ocean Winds in Portugal will serve to train and improve the startup’s detection models and could lead to the development of a fully remote-controlled system for offshore search and rescue.

Overall, Zelim’s technology aims to make remote-controlled search and rescue the norm, ultimately saving lives and minimizing the risks for workers in the ocean. The startup’s innovative approach to utilizing AI and autonomous technology has the potential to revolutionize safety measures at sea and provide a safety net for offshore assets. Through partnerships with offshore energy companies and ongoing trials and developments, Zelim is striving to perfect its technology and contribute to the safety and security of workers at sea.

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