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VIDEO: No skipper aboard

The future is nigh, and the word is robotics — Sea Machines Robotics, to be exact. The company, a startup that began in 2013, is testing autonomous-boating technologies in Boston Harbor.

Here’s a video of one of the company’s unmanned-boat tests:

Sea Machines wants to increase safety and efficiency on the water. It is developing technology that converts ships into drones that can be controlled remotely or programmed to operate autonomously.

The company envisions a future in which a smart ship, like a smartphone, will radically change ship design and operations.

Last year Soundings wrote about a Wave Glider named after Benjamin Franklin that was awarded a Guinness World Record in May of 2013 for the longest journey by an autonomous surface vessel — 7,939 nautical miles from California to Australia, powered by waves alone and guided by an on-board command-and-control computer.

The Wave Glider was designed and built by Liquid Robotics of Sunnyvale, California, a Silicon Valley startup founded in 2007.

If you’re curious to learn about Sea Machines' autonomous technologies, check out its website.