The First Autonomous Transatlantic Sailboat
To this day, no team has successfully crossed the Atlantic Ocean in an unmanned, autonomous sailboat. Teams such as UBC's Transatlantic Challenge team and SCOUT Transatlantic have made it close. Offshore Sensing AS accomplished it with an unmanned, remotely guided vessel. But the coast of Western Europe remains elusive to the autonomous robotic seafarers. The exceedingly tumultuous conditions of the North Atlantic are proving to be a fierce opponent, requiring some of the best engineers in the world to unite in order to be conquered.
Setting up a Dev Environment
In order to get a new development machine up and running, simply do the following on a computer running Ubuntu 16.04:
- Open a terminal and run
mkdir -p ~/catkin_ws/src && cd ~/catkin_ws/src
- Clone the repo by running
git clone https://github.com/olin-robotic-sailing/trans-atlantic-sailboat.git
cd trans-atlantic-sailboat && ./setupto run the setup script
- Run the command it says to run afterwards
The setup script will walk you through installing ROS and setting it up with Python in a way that will not conflict with other Python configurations (e.g. Anaconda). It will also give you the option to install the PyCharm integrated development environment, which is great for debugging, and configure it for use with ROS.
Just enter your password when it asks for it and press Enter when it asks for the PyCharm installation path (this will accept the default).
Status updates can be found on our Medium blog.
Our boat is controlled by a Raspberry Pi running ROS Kinetic. We actuate the sails and rudder using Robotis Dynamixel servos (MX-64s and an AX-12, respectively). We also use an Airmar 200WX ultrasonic weather station for wind speed and direction, heading, and position.