First Autonomous Sailing

This Saturday was a very exciting day for us: We finally put all our electronics on a boat and let it go!

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sfs Our boat equipped with sensors; and finally on the water. By the way, you can get the photo at the bottom as a postcard. Click here to see how.

Overall we were very happy with our results:

  • Power supply CHECK

  • ROS CHECK

  • Compass (after finding and fixing a bug…) CHECK

  • Wind Sensor CHECK

  • Sail and Rudder actuation CHECK

  • Sailing Control NEEDS MORE WORK

We ran into two problems though: Continuous tacking and … no wind … again!

[lol.jpg The mirror like water surface makes for wonderful photos, but we would prefer sailing our robot.

In our sailing state machine we have to tune our conditions for going into tacking mode a bit finer, and probably also introduce different values for the ‘almost no wind’ condition we keep having. One thing we definitely learn in this progress: Some things you just have to be patient with and accept. No wind is no wind, but luckily we have our Landyacht MacGyver for testing in those conditions.

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After packing up at sunset, we went on to the pub. After a day at the lake, the food and drinks tasted even better than usual and we discussed our next plans: Improving our wind sensor analysis, our GPS accuracy and a thorough look at the tacking decision making process.

Help us meet our funding goals to make sure we and our boat can be in Portugal for WRSC2016!

Please have a look at our rewards, share our fundraiser and/or contribute to our campaign.

Funding that we don’t need this year will be used to build an even better boat next year.  All our work from this year is available, not only for next year’s team: Our boat and advice is available to any student working on a related project, e.g. for their individual project (IP), and our firmware is publicly available on github to everyone.

Many thanks to everyone who already pledged support: Alistair Lynn, Matt Brown, Soon Sun Gan, Simone Provenzano, Kerrine Lee, Alessandro Romano, Lee Kwong Yong, andybs and Alex Ziang - and all our sponsors who choose to remain anonymous.  May you always find fair winds and following seas!