Almost 3 weeks we announced that we are going to the World Robotic Sailing Championships in Viana do Castelo. Since then we have registered, the rules have been finalised and we have made good progress.
Now we have exactly a month to get a boat with AI on the water, and we need help!
Where are we at?
The project has been made an open-source collaborative effort. The code and project instructions are posted on github, or read below on how to get involved. There have been around 130 code commits over this time.
A simulation for the sailboat has been written and the simulation can be visualised in Cesium, this helps immensely with debugging the AI.
We have purchased a new racing boat, it's a Dragon Flite 95 (see video, not our video). This heels well and seems stable under wind.
We started writing the AI based on a paper (Modeling, control and state-estimation for an autonomous sailboat), but found the paper had many gaps. But it was a good starting point for the AI.
What needs to be done
However, things still need to go on. Below are the items that need worked on to be successful, some are more important than others. The most important is at the top:
- Improve physics model: A physics model for the simulation exist, but it's primitive and has some flaws.
- Onboard wind sensing: This is low priority, but it could be an interesting project for someone. You can use the roll and heading to estimate the wind direction.
- Camera for obstacle avoidance: This is the lowest priority. At first we will focus on getting the boat sailing properly.