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Posted on May 22, 2012 by  & 

Robotic sailing boat set to break robotic sailing world record

The "ASV Roboat", the world's leading robotic sailing boat is once again setting sail. From 9th to 17th July, the fully autonomous, unmanned sailing boat will be used within the framework of a long-term mission for the first time, and is set to break the current robotic sailing world record: As part of a multi-day research project in the Baltic Sea, the sailboat will cover 150 nautical miles and remain on the high seas for up to 100 hours without interruption. The sailboat will have to deal with any unforeseen situations and master the complex processes of sailing - from route planning to manoeuvring - without human input. The developers of the "ASV Roboat", a research team of the Austrian Society for Innovative Computer Sciences (INNOC) intends to break the current world record, at 78.9 nautical miles, held by a research group from ENSTA Brest, France since March 2012.
The first long-term mission of the "ASV Roboat" will also be used for specific research purposes: In collaboration with marine biologists from the Oregon State University (USA), a project on the study of the endangered harbour porpoise in the Baltic Sea is currently being worked on intensively. By means of an underwater microphone which is attached to the boat, the sounds of the marine mammals can be recorded and thus valuable information about migration routes, pairing sites and the animals' communication behaviour is collected. As the robotic sailing boat moves silently, the marine animals will not be scared off and it is possible to observe them undisturbed for long periods.
In future, the technology of the "ASV Roboat" can be used in diverse ways
The Austrian research team expects important scientific findings from the first long-term mission of the "ASV Roboat". The on-board computer of the robotic sailing boat stores more than 100 measured values per second, which are used in a subsequent analysis for the improvement of sailing algorithms. In future, the robotic sailing boat technology is to be used for a variety of tasks at sea. The project manager, Roland Stelzer, describes the future of the technology as follows: "Because they are energy self-sufficient, in addition to marine biology, these solar energy powered robotic sailing boats can also be used for tsunami early warning systems, search operations, meteorological measurements and the recovery of oil spills".
In international comparison, the Austrian robotic sailing boat is currently at the forefront. In recent years, the "ASV Roboat" successfully defended its world championship title in the World Robotic Sailing Championship (WRSC) against the international competition.
If you are interested in sponsoring or having a media partnership, please send a request to The Vienna research group works within the framework of the Sparkling Science funding programme and is supported by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Research.
Roland Stelzer (project leader)
INNOC - Österreichische Gesellschaft für innovative Computerwissenschaften
Haussteinstraße 4/2
A-1020 Vienna, Austria
Tel: +43 1 3084666-0
E-Mail: roland.stelzer@innoc
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