The definition and outlook of robots and tasks they can accomplish have drastically changed in the last decade. Through continuous breakthroughs, robots are part of a wide range of industries such as automobiles, manufacturing units, packaging systems etc. Looking at a recent development, the idea of a robot boat might also not be very far away from reality either.
A research team is set to unveil their final product of a self-navigating trilogy. The team has designed a full-scale, completely autonomous robot boat that will be demonstrated in the coming days along the canals of Amsterdam. The development is likely to advance the Autonomous Vehicles Market. It includes many futuristic features, including its control systems, which can adapt according to the number of people present aboard.
The researchers launched two full-scale roboats, where they have provided a proof-of-concept. As per the study, the robots can easily carry up to five people while also delivering goods, collecting waste and providing on-demand infrastructure.
The boat is a futuristic-looking sleek model with a combination of gray and black colors. The boat is wholly electric and comes with a battery as big as a small chest. It can keep up operations till around 10 hours while also providing wireless charging capabilities. It has control algorithms akin to those within self-driving cars wherein instructions can be given about the path that has to be taken to the “thrusters”. These are the propellers responsible for helping the boat move.
The researchers stated that their newly made roboat enhanced precision and robustness in control systems, perception, and navigation. Further, it also comes with new navigation functions like better dynamic positioning and near-proximity approach mode for latching capabilities. With the help of these abilities, the boat is more adept at navigating through real-world waters.
The design used in creating the technology is the universal “hull” – denoting that it includes parts that will ensure it can ride both under the water and above it. Standard boats also come with unique hulls, which are present for specific purposes. However, the hull included within Roboat is one where the base is the same as a universal hull, while the top decks can be switched as per the use case.
These boats can perform tasks throughout the day, 24/7, without requiring a skipper on board. But still, the team has advised that it would be better if level A autonomy is not used for security reasons. The team added that their next step would be to present and use the technology within the public domain.