Image Source: Techcrunch
Amsterdam recently adulated self-driving water taxis. Scientists from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and Senseable City Laboratory launched the first self-Navigation, fully autonomous robot boats.
The boats are plethora enough to carry the weight of five people. These boats can be used besides carrying people, like to collect waste, deliver goods and do other boaty things that people do with boats. The straight-out-of-Blade Runner vessels are battery-powered and can charge wirelessly when they are at the dock. The team claims there’s enough juice on board for 10 hours of operation.
These boats determine a free path and avoid crashing into objects, Roboat uses lidar and a number of cameras to enable a 360-degree view. Navigation is the same as you would in a car using GPS to figure out a safe route from where it is to where it’s going.
Image Source: ZDNet
Roboat is able to automatically steer and latch itself to appropriate and precise docking stations. This latching system consists of two opposed0pairs of robotic arms which can be used to safely grab onto the stationary poles of a dock or the sides of another Roboat. Once it is successfully latched, mechanical brakes lock the arms in position without drawing further power.
“We now have higher precision and robustness in the perception, navigation and control systems, including new functions, such as close proximity approach mode for latching capabilities, and improved dynamic positioning, so the boat can navigate real-world waters,” says MIT professor and CSAIL Director Daniela Rus.
One Clever fact of the Roboat is that the boat is built on a universal platform a hull that can be used for different purposes, along with its batteries and propulsion systems. The top deck can be switched out, which makes it possible to utilize it in different ways, for distinct cases.