The MIT team unveiled a robotic boat that can independently navigate waterways with heavy traffic and coordinate with other unmanned vessels.
The two-meter Roboat II is equipped with a wide range of sensors, with the help of which it orientates itself in space and perceives surrounding objects. The embedded system can interact with other unmanned boats, allowing for group action. For example, form an entire flotilla, floating bridge or platform.
At the same time, one boat can lead a fleet of slave boats without sensors, acting as a leader. The Roboat II has been successfully tested on the Charles River in Boston, and a four-meter model is under construction in Amsterdam for testing in urban canals. After three hours of operation, the vessel returned to the starting point of departure with an error of 17 cm.
According to the developers, small robotic boats can also be used for mapping, water pollution analysis and other highly specialized tasks..
A team of engineers at MIT is currently working on a project for a larger boat with higher payload and longer battery life..
Recall that last year, the largest Japanese shipping company NYK announced the completion of the first tests of a marine unmanned ship in accordance with all the requirements of the IMO.
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: MIT
Engineers develop the first autonomous boat for urban canals