I'm transforming a radio controlled model sailboat into an autonomous sailing vessel. In the end it will be able to navigate to a user defined GPS coordinate on its own. Hopefully :)
Concept, Project Management, Hardware & Software Engineering
This little sailing boat will be transformed into an autonomous one. Interpreting it's sensory input, it will be able to sail courses to the wind or go into a specific direction and adjust the sails accordingly. Finally it will be able to navigate using GPS, this way it can go to user defined locations.
I chose a radio controlled sail boat, one of the "Marblehead" class. It was built in the '70s and will be big enough to hold all the electronics I will need. The brain of the boat will be an "Arduino"-PC, and along with all the sensory input and some software magic, it will be able to control and drive the boat.
I started this project because I wanted to do something that lets me combine my two passions: sailing and technology. I find it very interesting to start a project like this from scratch and do everything on my own, even though there are countless similar projects and already working systems out there. This is also the first chapter on my way to take part in the MicroTransat, a sailing race for autonomous sail boats to cross the Atlantic ocean.