June 2, 2015
Robert Allan Ltd. is a continuing proud sponsor of the University of British Columbia (UBC) SailBot team. Every year a group of engineering students from different departments come together to design and build a fully autonomous robotic sailboat, a sailbot, to participate in competitive engineering challenges.
Their passion for creative problem solving, complex programming, advanced electronics and, of course, sailing has led the UBC Team to win the International Robotic Sailing Regatta for the past three years.
After proving themselves at the International Robotic Sailing Regatta, the UBC SailBot Team has taken on the challenge of creating a fully autonomous (self-driving) sailboat capable of crossing the Atlantic Ocean. The launch is set for August 2015 and will comply with the rules put forth by the Microtransat Challenge. The Microtransat Challenge is truly a difficult undertaking – an Atlantic crossing in a vessel of length less than four meters – without human interaction.
This project requires coordination of several disciplines:
- Advanced composite materials
- State of the art robotics for a challenging marine environment
- Robust collision avoidance and route-making techniques
- Judicious use of electrical power, gathered from onboard solar panels
…not to mention the physical logistics of shipping the finished boat and equipment to Newfoundland for launching and departure. We wish this creative and dedicated team of students all the best and good luck for a successful project.