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China’s first unmanned observation boat for marine ranch farming completes trial voyage in East China’s Shandong
Published: Aug 18, 2021 07:28 PM
China's first unmanned observation boat for marine ranch farming on its trial voyage in Weihai, East China's Shandong Province Photo: Courtesy of Huang Haibin

China's first unmanned observation boat for marine ranch farming on its trial voyage in Weihai, East China's Shandong Province Photo: Courtesy of Huang Haibin



China's first unmanned observation boat for marine ranch farming, with which the growth of marine creatures can be observed in real-time by its operator, has completed its trial voyage in Weihai in East China's Shandong Province and was handed over to users in mid-August, vowing to greatly promote the development of smart marine ranches. 

The boat has a length of 2.4 meters and a width of 1 meter, and is built with carbon fiber composite materials, consisting of double main bodies, a telecommunications system, electricity supplying system, and underwater robot and controlling software. It can be remotely operated by a smart remote control to work normally on the sea with waves between 0.1 and 0.5 meters high. 

The most distinctive characteristic of the boat is that its underwater robot can dive as deep as 50 meters into the water and transmit real-time underwater images captured by its 4K high-definition camera to computers or mobile phones. 

Huang Haibin, founder of Weihai Skysailing Technology Co. and vice dean of the Department of Control Science and Engineering of Harbin Institute of Technology, Weihai, which developed the unmanned boat, told the Global Times on Wednesday that with an increasing emphasis on the development of marine ranch farming in China, there has been a growth demand for civilian unmanned observation boats in recent years. 

According to Xie Xiuqin, chairman of the board of Weihai Deming Seafood farming company, the density and farming conditions of the underwater sea cucumbers as well as other sea creatures such as sea snails can be observed via the unmanned boat now, whereas in the past, such information could only be described by divers. 

According to Huang, the unmanned boat is estimated to be priced at 500,000 yuan ($77,096), and is expected to be affordable for small- or medium-sized marine ranch farming companies.
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