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Thread: Sail Bots Take Over Vallejo

  1. #1

    Sail Bots Take Over Vallejo

    The Vallejo Times Herald sent their staff out to cover the ongoing Sailbot 2014 International Robotic Sailing Regatta, currently happening at Cal Maritime in Vallejo:

    It's like the America's Cup, but for robots.

    That's one way to describe the international robotic sailing competition this week at California Maritime in Vallejo.

    The friendly competition features collegiate teams from the United States, Canada and Wales trying to outdo each other with unmanned, two-meter-long "sailbots" that navigate through a variety of challenges with limited, if any, human control.

    The winners take home a trophy, and bragging rights.

    Unlike other sailing competitions, the SailBot 2014 International Robotic Sailing Regatta spotlights emerging trends in oceanic fields involving autonomous vessels with no need for a crew.

    "The technology is leading us in that direction," said Cal Maritime faculty member Michael Kazek, who helped bring this year's week-long event to the school. "Just like the drones in the sky, we'll be able to operate ships on the sea without being on board."

    This year's competition is sponsored by the California State University school and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, which is hosting its 33rd International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering this week in San Francisco.

    This year's teams hail from Aberystwyth University in Wales, Virginia Tech, the U.S. Naval Academy, the University of British Columbia, Memorial University of Newfoundland and Tufts University.

    This week's competition consists of five parts:

    Fleet racing (manual, radio-control rudder and/or sail control incurs no points penalty).

    Station keeping (vessels must remain in a 40 meter by 40 meter area for five minutes using GPS and wind sensors).

    Autonomous navigation contest (no manual control allowed).

    Design competition.

    Long distance race (points deducted for use of manual remote control).

    The competition continues today with more fleet racing from about 11 a.m. to noon and a navigation challenge from 1 to 5 p.m. The event is open to the public.

    Information about parking is available at

    For more information about Sailbot 2014, visit

    KPIX's Don Ford Filed THIS Report on the event as well! ~It's not the size of the website, it's how you use it! ~

  2. #2
    When they can program them to sail out to the boat and deliver pizza and beer, I will rejoice!

  3. #3
    The possibilities are endless. I just hope they don't start sending oil tankers on auto pilot and call it good.

  4. #4
    Chick Magnet Cassidy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    The boundless seas
    College kids figuring that shit out.


  5. #5
    Group 3 Studmuffin Sanity Check's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    ≈ 38N 122W
    Of course it has nothing to do with this story.... but remember Chess Grandmaster Gary Kasparov finally getting beaten by IBM's Deep Blue in 1997?

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