Dedicated to transforming maritime safety through innovative smart systems, Zelim is creating products and solutions that are designed to allow vessel operators to find, recover and protect anyone and everyone on the water. At OTC 2024, the company showed attendees how its ZOE product enables these efforts in ways that are as distinct as they are powerful.

Zelim is a startup based in Edinburgh, Scotland, that has been developing ZOE over the past three years. As part of this process, they labelled over five million maritime rescue images to define the algorithm. Most detection solutions in the market today are somewhat crude, with limitations around discriminating between different objects in the marine environment what info can be captured in real-time. ZOE was created as a tool to ensure nothing is missed.

The platform agnostic solution uses AI to detect and track happenings in the water to support search and rescue operators in real-time. Visual cues are overlayed on a simple display to allow searches to rely on much more than their eyes. ZOE achieves an objectively measured 96.8% person in water detection accuracy from 337m.

This AI-enabled detection and tracking technology was developed as part of a collaboration with the U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center. Using AI to support efforts to find, identify, and track people or objects in the water is something that the Coast Guard has identified as a part of its strategic plan to utilize rapidly advancing technologies, but it’s also being deployed on vessels and by drilling contractors that want and need this kind of awareness. 

“There’s obviously value in just being able to detect any anomaly in the water, but our system takes it to the next level by also being able to identify those anomalies,” said Andrew Tipping, Head of Commercial at Zelim. “That makes all the difference for teams that have to take action immediately.”

Tipping went through a demo that highlighted how the system identifies these anomalies but also creates a record of them, providing teams with info they need in the moment but can also look back on and review after.

The company is also looking to deploy the Guardian, which is a remotely operated craft that supports the rescue of conscious and unconscious casualties. Equipped with ZOE, it can perform search, standby and recovery tasks.

You can watch the latest demo of ZOE below.

Jeremiah Karpowicz is the Editorial Director for WorkBoat. He has created articles, videos, newsletters, ebooks and plenty more for various communities as a contributor and editor. You can get in touch with him on Twitter: @jeremiahkarp