Sail Robot

The idea is simple: Making an autonomous sailboat. First, we start with a 1-meter sized boat, then, we might scale up, if i find the time. At least, this project is down-to-earth.

Due to X, Y and Z, sadly the Sailrobot project is postponed to WHENEVER THERE’S TIME.

[10-08-2011]: Scheduling first sail

After being very busy the last couple of months, i decided to devote my afternoon to the project, essentially finishing everything, and going a full dry test. This means, testing the boat without the water and the sail, but by walking wherever it was going. This worked fine, see the demovid

[26-05-2011]: Computer done

Yay the custom sailcomputer (the brains) are populated & done! Too bad i’m a bit to busy for testing.

[26-05-2011]: PCB

Project is slightly delayed because i’m a bit busy, but in the meantime my custom PCB’s came in for the sailcomputer:

[12-05-2011]: Dry Test

The entire sailcomputer is now ready with everything on it. I have succesfully tested it without the boat (eg. walking where it would sail to instead of putting it in the boat). And those went very well.
It’s time to test it in the field!

Flightcomputer 'exploded view'

[10-05-2011]: Updates

I have made a controller “shield” PCB for the sailrobot computer. I have it produced somewhere in china or shanghai. Probably i’ll have it within a week or two/three.

now being produced in shanghai

[03-05-2011]: Updates

-Compass is now tilt compensated. There is an accelerometer included that measures the inclination of the boat, because that affects the compass reading. Now it accounts for that (took me some time).
-Had a endurance test with solar panels & battery charging: it worked through the night, and at sunrise it started charging again! It seems i only need ~3 panels to make it work for forever (already around 10).
-Some extra coding.
-Wet test soon to follow!

[20-04-2011]: Cold test

-GPS working
-Compass working
-Tack detection working
-Servo’s working
-TODO: Warm test!

Video: automatic steering mechanism

[13-04-2011]: Calibration

Calibrating servo's.. Testing solar panels.. Implementing controller..

[12-04-2011]: Testing

Boat hull & started development/testing

Testing the boat and controller

[28-03-2011]: Shopping!

What? Why? How much & where?
Lithium battery, 6Ah I need the juice $22 @clickme
Compass & 3-axis accelerometer $25 @clickme
GPS i have 2 GPS’ receivers but i don’t trust them. $50 @clickme
Servo (watertight & superstrong) need durability $15 @clickme
Controller (Seeduino Stalker v2) i have 7 controllers but i like buying new ones.. pff i sound like my girlfriend. But this one can integrate the GPS i bought; also this one has several built in sensors, and a RTC (real-time-clock) @clickme
Lipo Rider Power supply (mixes solar+battery charge) $9 @clickme
Solar cells 8x 1Watt, already have $0
$ @

Tim Zaman

MSc Biorobotics. Specialization in computer vision and deep learning. Works at NVIDIA.