Posted: May 18, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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The aptly-named “RoBoat” has been taking home the World Robotic Sailing Championship (WRSC) crown for three years, but this July the team behind the world’s winningest autonomous watercraft will attempt to snag another record for the longest robotic sailing expedition. The Austrian Society for Innovative Computer Sciences (INNOC) has been tweaking and iterating the RoBoat since its inception in 2006, adding an array of batteries and solar panels good for a maximum of 285 kW of juice, along with a back-up methanol-powered fuel cell that can provide another 65 kW of power if things get cloudy. Combined with a three-stage communication system that utilizes WLAN, UMTS/GPRS, an IRIDIUM satellite setup for tracking and navigation, and an NMEA200 partnered with a PC running Linux, the RoBoat can sail human-free as the computers control everything from rudder position to tack and sails. All this technology is fitted to 12-foot Laering keelboat originally designed as an instructional craft for young sea-lovers, complete with a 130-pound keel-ballast that keeps things upright in even the most torturous of off-shore conditions. When the RoBoat sets out into the Baltic Sea on July 9, it aims to cover some 150 nautical miles for up to 100 hours without human intervention. That will put the INNOC team ahead of the current world record holder – a research team from ENSTA Brest, France – which set a distance of 78.9 nautical miles in March of this year. (via Autonomous ‘RoBoat’ Making World Record Attempt | Autopia |


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