Posted by & filed under AI/Artificial Intelligence, Automation.

Two people work on a sailboat mounted on a table, with a third carrying a sail behind them.
A team of University of B.C. engineering students are putting all hands on deck for their second attempt at an ocean crossing this month.
But once their 18-foot sailing vessel, Raye, sets course for Hawaii, it will have no hands on deck at all.
That’s because it will sail the high seas autonomously, thanks to computer programming and solar power.
The so-called “sailbot” was designed entirely by students — more than 200 were involved — and took six years to build, according to the team’s co-captain.
“Sailing is a sport of the feel, you look at the sail to see how full it is to adjust its angle,” said UBC Sailbot’s Asvin Sankaran. “Then to try to quantify that … it’s an impressive challenge.
“We really want to push the limits of engineering, and push the limits of the marine industry; autonomous technology is super ‘in’ right now.”
The 20-foot-tall craft is scheduled to set sail from Victoria later this month. Its two sails are expected to carry it more than 2,500 kilometres to Maui, Hawaii — with neither captain aboard nor navigators guiding it from afar.

Source: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Date: September 1st, 2022

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/ubc-team-robotic-sailboat-poised-to-set-course-for-hawaii-1.6557653

Discussion

  1. “Sailing is a sport of the feel, you look at the sail to see how full it is to adjust its angle” and “Then to try to quantify that … it’s an impressive challenge.” What sorts of sensors and technology will likely have been used to get “the feel” of the sail?
  2. Why is it important (or is it not important) to develop autonomous modes of transport, including sailing vessels?

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