Oil spills can spell big trouble for the environment, and efficient and swift response is critical in trying to contain the problem. In the not-too-distant future, folks dealing with such incidents may have a robotic helper to call on, with Boston’s Sea Machines Robotics successfully demonstrating what it says is the world’s first autonomous spill response vessel, which has the ability to tend to oil spills without the need for a human onboard.

Being exposed to challenging sea and weather, toxic fumes and other safety hazards, the health and lives of mariners relieving oil spill disasters are often put at risk. With Sea Machines Robotics’ self-navigating boat, operators are able to remotely tend to oil spills without the need to send human crews out in rough seas and weather.