IBEX 365 News
2021 IBEX Innovation Award Interview with OSCAR Navigation
News Date: May 18, 2022
Sentry by OSCAR Navigation takes situational awareness to a new level. By combining the latest in camera technology, advanced sensors, and artificial intelligence, OSCAR Sentry continuously scans the environment and automatically detects and recognizes any floating obstacles – large and small, day and night. Key features include collision avoidance, perimeter surveillance, and object tracking.
What problem does this product solve?
Sentry is about improving situational awareness and avoiding collisions at sea. The system provides peace-of-mind as it automatically scans for any floating objects around the vessel and creates a safer environment for crew because its capabilities go well beyond those of AIS (Automatic Identification System) or radar.
How did you become aware of this problem?
“We were developing OSCAR products for sailboats for the past three years,” says Patrick Haebig of OSCAR Navigation. “During this process, certain clients such as SAR (search and rescue), cruising yachts, and commercial ships asked for additional capabilities and the result became the OSCAR Sentry.”
What audience is this product designed to reach?
Sentry addresses vessels that reach at least 15 feet above the waterline and need a system that will spot floating objects in good and low visibility. Sentry was primarily designed for motorized vessels needing a 360° view and it can pan and tilt for better targeting.
What is noteworthy about the technology used?
OSCAR Sentry is based on thermal and infrared cameras, sensors, machine learning capabilities, and a powerful processing system that makes sense of the input data. With computer algorithms, the ability to detect temperature differences of .09 degrees F, and a database of over 60 million marine objects, Sentry automatically detects and identifies possible hazards and alerts the crew. It can be used underway for collision avoidance but also at anchor in its perimeter surveillance mode which will warn of approaching objects/vessels.
How is it different from any other solution on the market?
Sentry closes the gap between AIS and radar both of which have shortcomings. Radar data often requires experienced users for proper interpretation while small objects, wooden vessels, shipping containers, and even marine wildlife may be missed by AIS. Sentry sees everything and can even aid in SAR efforts and MOB maneuvers by detecting, recognizing, and tracking swimmers in the water.
What obstacles did you encounter in the R&D process?
“The application of Artificial Intelligence in the maritime environment is a challenging one. Over 300,000 nautical miles were sailed for testing and that gave us enough data to reliably engineer a product for the market,” adds Haebig. “Image stabilization in harsh environments and powerful computational capabilities are also not easy to do and we’re proud to have succeeded.”
What customizations can be enabled to personalize this product?
The technology around Sentry is primarily software. This makes it possible for us to personalize the product in terms of specified functionality and also to add features in the future. We continually acquire image databases from selected customers to improve the software and help the system learn.
How has the product been received?
The IBEX Innovation Award helped us to create more awareness for the product and it has been received well.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Founded in 2018 by automotive developer and blue water sailor Raphael Biancale, OSCAR Navigation has offices in five locations around the world.
For more information about the 2021 IBEX Innovation Award winners, click here.