Video: Smart Boats Are Here!
Queensland University of Technology’s young roboticists are building the first generation of driverless boats that can think for themselves in an emergency. Next month they will test their maritime mettle at the first-ever international marine robotics competition, in Singapore.
The QUT team is one of 15 selected from universities in five countries, and a strong contender among Australia’s three entries.
QUT roboticist and team advisor Dr. Matt Dunbabin said the competition was designed to increase the autonomy of robotic boats so they could soon be performing real-world tasks in real-world environments, including searching for debris or oil slicks and finding overboard boaties in rough seas.
The Maritime RobotX Challenge will see QUT and other competitors put their robot boats through five marine missions, ranging from simple navigation through to complex docking and detect-and-avoid manoeuvres.
While the boats’ frames were supplied by the competition organisers, the teams must design and develop the sensors, hardware and software needed to complete the missions.
The Maritime RobotX Challenge runs October 20-26 and involves teams form Australian, Singapore, Japan, South Korea and the USA.