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Robot Boat

 Link to the private section: RoBoat Project - Spring 2011

 IMG_4950 [i].JPG

16.3, IRSC / WRSC update:

Dear all,

as we have just two weeks until the abstract deadline for IRSC 2011
I'd like to give you a brief update.

Luebeck is a rather popular tourist destination in Summer and we
have been able to block some affordable accomodation until end of
April. It should be rather student friendly and also includes a
limited number of spots to camp on site. Please have a look at our
website ( and don't wait
too long with booking!

For the races we will get support from Luebecker Yacht Club and the
race committee organinzing Travemuender Woche (there will be 2000
sailors from dinghy to offshore racing at 122th TW at the end on
July ...).

Also, I have been in touch with Graupner as the Micro Magic had
been out of stock. Apparently they've done some restructuring but
made very clear that the MM will be available soon. The carbon
look version is apparently available again (per Graupner website).
If your boat is to big to carry or you're still wondering how to
get started, look here:

And don't forget the two page abstract by April 1st ...

Fair winds,


Some useful links:

  • World Robotic Sailing Championship 2011: link


Extended QA:

  1. Is the boat command limited to on board control or can it be sent back to a computer at the lake side and controlled remotely from there?

    For MircoMagic class, the boat can be controlled from a remote computer as long as all control is by the computer (no manual intervention unless to prevent collisions!).

  2. Are we allowed to install additional floating devices to our boat (within the 1 meter sphere)?

    Not outside the hull: you have to use the original hull, e.g., no extension to the hull and no second hull. If you want to add floatation  inside the hull to prevent sinking, that's fine.

  3.  Are we allowed to install an additional engine(s)/a fan to generate wind? 

    No, the only means of propulsion is wind.

  4.  Does the race track include natural hazards such as rocks or flag posts to be avoided or is the only obstacle other ships?

    We will have different contests with different objectives, e.g., navigation, collision avoidance, short races, and an endurance race. For the short races, you have to avoid contact to other boats, buoys and you should not leave the race course.

  5. Is the goal to sail across the lake, from a predefined starting place to a known end point?

    There will be further announcements on the actual courses soon, but for now briefly:

    1. Navigation: start between two buoys, round windward mark, return between  the two buoys.
    2. Collision Avoidance: start, sail on port, avoid collision.
    3. Multiple short races: start between two buoys, round windward mark,  mark 2, mark3 (triangle) and finish between the two buoys.
    4. Endurance contest: start, do as many triangles as possible without  interference (there will likely be a time limit, too).
  6. Is there a time frame of sailing? Should we plan our power resources for prolonged use or short race time?

     See above, you should go for speed and by the rules, except for endurance,  where you may want to find a balance between speed and energy consumption.

  7. Another quick question, will we be privy to the GPS location of the other ships?
    Namely, can we read from the competition server the signal sent (in 1Hz intervals) from all other ships for our collision detection?

    Yes, the MicroMagic class requires all boats to send the actual GPS position, which is then distributed by the world server. Note that you should only query the world server at 1 Hz maximum, i.e., you should get the GPS Position with a delay of at most 2 s (on average).

    BTW: you will need to send your position and receive world server data using a text based protocol via a standard TCP socket (streams).

    Also, note that other boats (non-MicroMagic) may chose not to send the GPS Position. We're currently discussing how to handle collision avoidance in this case. In either way you should be prepared to avoid collisions by manually doing a last minute maneuver.



Hardware QA:

  1. Where did you get all your Hardware from?

well, MircoMagic RTR comes pretty built as so far as the boat is concerned, All other modules (GPS, WiFi, Sensors, Control logic) were bought from Dan Electronics ( We also got help from Tmm1 with regards to magnetic encoders.



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