Many thanks to my hosts Dr Mike Benjamin and Prof. Henrik Schmidt for arranging a seminar and discussion at the Center for Ocean Engineering at MIT during my recent visit to the US. It was both exciting and humbling to present on recent developments at Mission Systems in Australia in front of so many new students and interns. The ensuing discussion was a time to reflect on how much has changed in maritime robotics – and why much of what we did in the beginning, like the payload autonomy paradigm, remains central to the field.

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