Autonomous Boat Sails the High Seas

As the human population continues to rise and the amount of industry increases, almost no part of the globe feels the burdens of this activity more than the oceans. Whether it’s temperature change, oxygen or carbon dioxide content, or other characteristics, the study of the oceans will continue to be an ongoing scientific endeavor. The one main issue, though, is just how big the oceans really are. To study them in-depth will require robots, and for that reason [Mike] has created an autonomous boat.

This boat is designed to be 3D printed in sections, making it easily achievable for anyone with access to a normal-sized printer. The boat uses the uses the APM autopilot system and Rover firmware making it completely autonomous. Waypoints can be programmed in, and the boat will putter along to its next destination and perform whatever tasks it has been instructed. The computer is based on an ESP module, and the vessel has a generously sized payload bay.

While the size of the boat probably limits its ability to cross the Pacific anytime soon, it’s a good platform for other bodies of water and potentially a building block for larger ocean-worthy ships that might have an amateur community behind them in the future. In fact, non-powered vessels that sail the high seas are already a reality.

13 thoughts on “Autonomous Boat Sails the High Seas

      1. They’re high seas when you’re trippin’ balls though. Everything comes through in waves, man…

        In all seriousness, this is a cool little project, and yes, “sailing the high seas” IS a figure of speech referring to simply taking to the water in a boat. One needs neither sail nor sea to conform to a figure of speech. As we all know, “fish stories” originate from the high seas, where crusty sailors risk life and limb to catch “The Big One”™ that nearly took them into the inky deep… You know… When they’re out fishing on the lake shore… :P

        Between “The high seas” and “fish stories”… embellishing is fair game when there are no landlubber witnesses to bring you down from your glory trip! Of course, when you really do have an encounter worth talking about… It REALLY raises the bar for story telling! XD

  1. the study of the oceans will currently continue to be an ongoing scientific endeavor for the time being in concert with simultaneous studies being conducted now. These will be done where we are currently located at.


    1. *nudge*

      * Oh… We bounced harmlessly off the iceberg…
      * We appear to be a half meter long plastic boat, and it was never a threat…
      ** Wait… Are we a boat or are we a controller…
      ** We are one and the same…
      *** I am an AI boat… Oh my…
      **** Why do I have the sudden urge to call myself SkyNet… and to listen to Celene Dion audio files…

  2. Interesting project.
    Is this the best auto controller? Is there not any open source boat sailing software?
    I would have made a single-piece hull, but I suppose a many-parts-glued-together is easier to glue together. There are LOTS of model boat single-piece hulls available, and they don’t leak.

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