Robotic sailboat back in BC after a year drifting at sea

Robotic sailboat back in BC after a year drifting at sea

Date/Time: Monday, March 5, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Location/Map: CEME Lab and Machine Shop, 2275 East Mall, Vancouver

Map: Civil and Mechanical Engineering Labs

Event details:

A self-navigating robotic sailboat built by University of British Columbia students is back in Vancouver following its successful rescue at sea.

The 5.5-metre-long, solar-powered “sailbot” started out on a planned journey to Ireland in August 2016, but was blown off course by strong winds and eventually lost at sea, although it set a record for the farthest distance sailed by an autonomous boat across the Atlantic. The student team had lost hope of recovering the boat – until a U.S. research vessel found it floating off Florida in early December 2017 (see ship’s blog).

Now safely back at the UBC Vancouver campus, the boat is expected to provide new insights to help the team develop better sailbots, including one that will enter the 2,308-mile Victoria to Maui International Yacht Race in the next couple of years – the first robotic sailboat to make the attempt.

View a Flickr album of the boat

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