Check out this video footage of the sleek Mayflower 400 slicing through the water, hoping to retrace the historic 1620 journey of the famous ship which carried pilgrims to America.
Unfortunately, unlike the real Mayflower, this robotic 21st-century doppelganger “had to turn back Friday to fix a mechanical problem,” reports the Associated Press:
Nonprofit marine research organization ProMare, which worked with IBM to build the autonomous ship, said it made the decision to return to base “to investigate and fix a minor mechanical issue” but hopes to be back on the trans-Atlantic journey as soon as possible.
With no humans on board the ship, there’s no one to make repairs while it’s at sea.
Piloted by artificial intelligence technology, the 50-foot (15-meter) Mayflower Autonomous Ship began its trip early Tuesday, departing from Plymouth, England, and spending some time off the Isles of Scilly before it headed for deeper waters.
It was supposed to take up to three weeks to reach Provincetown on Cape Cod before making its way to Plymouth, Massachusetts. If successful, it would be the largest autonomous vessel to cross the Atlantic.
In computing, the mean time to failure keeps getting shorter.