World Robotic Sailing Championship Starts in Portugal

Jul 07, 2009

The first world robotic sailing championship to be held on the open sea will start tomorrow in Matosinhos, Portugal. A number of the unmanned boats will be sailing on Linux systems.

Roboat Sailing
The ASV Roboat from Austria. Source: InnoC.

Only unmanned, totally autonomous boats up to 4m in length are allowed entry into the competition which is organized into a series of regattas and sailing maneuvers. The International Robotic Sailing Conference will be held parallel to the event.

Among the participants will be the successful Austrian team, their preparations for the competition are documented in a diary. Their Roboat, run by the Austrian Company for Innovative Computer Sciences is the current world champion after winning the robot sailing championships on the Neusiedler Lake in eastern Austria in May 2008. Once fed with finish-line coordinates, the ASV boat uses weather data to compute the route, trim sails and perform required maneuvers.

Linux is also being used by the Swiss student team Segeln Autonom, (Sailing Autonomous) from the ETH Autonomous Systems Lab in Zurich, the (FASTt team from Portugal's Porto University and the entrants from the University of Aberystwyth in Wales. A full list of competitors can be found here.

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    A regatta for unmanned robot sailing craft will be starting from Aberystwyth, Wales, in September. "Roboat", a Linux-powered craft by the Austrian Society for Innovative Computer Sciences (InnoC), will be one of the starters in Microtransat 2007.

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