Please select your home edition
Edition
Spinlock - Deckvest - 728x90
Product Feature
Gul Hydroshield Pro Waterproof Thermal FL Longjohn
Gul Hydroshield Pro Waterproof Thermal FL Longjohn
Boat Insurance from Noble Marine


Full racing risks
New for old cover
www.noblemarine.co.uk

De Montfort University get ready for Microtransat Challenge

by Roland Stelzer 26 Aug 2007 10:02 BST 26 August 2007

Intelligent sailing boats are taking to the water for a unique race and De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) researchers are hoping for victory in the event.

A joint research team from DMU and the Austrian Association for Innovative Computer Science (InnoC) is competing in the second Microtransat Challenge, an international competition for autonomous sailing boats taking place in the Irish Sea next month.

The team's innovative vessel, known as ROBOAT, has a fully automatic steering and navigation system. With wind as the only propulsion, the ROBOAT is able to autonomously navigate towards any given target and the best route is calculated by weighting drift coordinates against weather parameters.

The rudder and sails as well as the tacks and jibes are autonomously controlled by incoming data from sensors (GPS, compass, anemometer etc) which are analysed using artificial intelligence.

The ROBOAT team won the first Microtransat challenge, held on a lake near Toulouse, France, last year. This year's challenge is being held at Aberystwyth, on the Welsh coast, and will mark the first time that an autonomous boat race has been held on the open sea.

Roland Stelzer is a PhD student at DMU and is the project leader, "The ROBOAT is about four metres long but the algorithms and systems used on board can be scaled up for use on larger boats that are more frequently found on the open sea. The future we envision for the ROBOAT system is that it can become a reliable support tool for sailors in leisure boats."

Although the boat is fully autonomous, if the technology is adapted for use on a full sized boat there will be an override system to allow manual control.

Professor Robert John, Director of DMU's Centre for Computational Intelligence, where Roland studies, said: "The ROBOAT is a great example of how a research project that is relatively small in scale can hold massive potential for commercial applications."

The event is being held between 3 and 6 September, with the winner being announced on 6 September. The team hope to design a boat that can make a fully autonomous crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by 2010.

Related Articles

Paul Heys Memorial Buoy Fundraising
A new racing buoy in the Central Solent in his memory Paul Heys helped so many of us to enjoy our hobby, whether it was helping with crew, sorting our boats or boosting morale in the bar and a group of sailors are trying to raise the funds to drop a new racing buoy in the Solent in his honour and memory. Posted on 11 Jul
Memorial Service for Jane Windsor
In Hamble on Tuesday 16th July Jane was a very special person and will be missed by all of us. Jane achieved many good things in her career, ashore in her many various volunteering roles and whilst afloat in race management roles. Posted on 10 Jul
Remembering Lowell North
The founder of North Sails passes away Lowell North, founder of North Sails, has passed away. Nicknamed "The Pope" by his peers, Lowell began his sailmaking career at the age of 14 when his father purchased a Star with cotton sails. Posted on 4 Jun
Paul Heys - Celebration of an incredible man
How to pay your respects on Tuesday 19th March On behalf of the team at Key Yachting, we would like to say a huge thank you, for the astounding number of cards and messages we have received since we told you the news of Paul's passing. Posted on 15 Mar
Paul Heys passes away
Hamble-based Key Yachting MD greatly admired in the sailing community Hamble-based yacht sales business Key Yachting Ltd, have made the truly sad and shocking announcement that Paul Heys, co-founder and Managing Director, has passed away. Posted on 27 Feb
GAC joins tribute to sailing legend Hilary Lister
Farewell to an 'indomitable spirit' GAC has paid tribute to record-breaking quadriplegic sailor Hilary Lister, who died at the age of 46 on 18 August. The GAC Group and its sailing logistics specialist arm, GAC Pindar, had supported and sponsored her sailing endeavours since 2010. Posted on 28 Aug 2018
Tony Bullimore passes away
Round-the-world yachtsman dies at the age of 79 Round-the-world yachtsman Tony Bullimore has passed away at the age of 79 after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Posted on 31 Jul 2018
Jacque Collyer-Smith passes away
A popular member of the Brightlingsea sailing community The sailing world has lost a popular member of the community following the death of Jacque Collyer-Smith. Posted on 8 Mar 2018
John Channon passes away
Sailmaker, yachtsman and formerly MD of Hood Sails UK John Channon, sailmaker and yachtsman, formerly MD of Hood Sails UK, passed away on 12th January aged 66. Generations of yachties will remember him as an unfailingly cheerful and helpful man with a winning smile. Posted on 6 Feb 2018
Eileen Ramsay Memorial on Saturday 8th April
At Droxford church at 11:30 Yachting photographer Eileen Ramsay died on 8th February at the grand old age of 101. Her family are holding a memorial service at Droxford church at 11:30 on Saturday April 8 to celebrate her life and work, followed by a reception. Posted on 19 Mar 2017