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Benedict Peax raised € 350 000 in an MIT grant for a collaboration between Smart-Ship and VSTEP

Smart-Ship develops haptic controllers for ships. Ship controls are highly computerised, especially on large vessels, and feedback about the vessel’s movements is conveyed to the pilot through screens displaying large amounts of data. But with this computerisation, an important source of feedback has been lost: a feel for the ship’s movements and its reactions to the steering input. This leads to all kinds of problems, from thrusters pushing against each other to accidents.

In the Haptrick project, Smart-Ship joins forces with VSTEP to develop a controller that gives haptic feedback to the pilot. The controller can be used on real ships but also in simulators—VSTEP’s domain of expertise. These simulators are enhanced with the kind of environmental feedback that a pilot could expect at sea, thus greatly shortening training cycles and reducing the very expensive need to complete the training on a real ship.

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