PILGRIMS VOYAGE - MAS's direction of travel is the reverse of the
Scout and Voyager autonomous Atlantic
attempts that took advantage of trade winds. The Mayflower will be
heading into prevailing winds and currents. If sail powered, she would need to tack. But powered by a
engine, with support from the deck mounted solar panels, there may be no need for
that - except, that we saw her struggling when out at sea. Energy from nature is used to power the onboard AI and satellite
communications. Many media reports inaccurately refer to wind power as a
feature of the MAS, but you can plainly see that there is no wind
turbine or wing-sail on this craft. Since showing at launch, another 4
banks of solar panels have been added to boost performance. The cameras,
radar and lidar system used for navigation and object recognition is
very similar to that used on robotaxis.
C-NET 15 JUNE 2021 - IBM POWERED MAYFLOWER AUTONOMOUS SHIP SETS SAIL ACROSS THE ATLANTIC
After months of trials, the ship is making the big journey from the UK to the US.
An autonomous ship fitted with software developed by IBM set sail across the Atlantic Ocean on Tuesday, according to project organizers. The
Mayflower Autonomous Ship, which was completed and launched in September, is an
intelligence, solar-powered marine research vessel that'll sail across oceans to collect environmental data. The ship's name commemorates the crossing of the original Mayflower 400 years ago.
MAS has spent the last several months in sea trials and various research missions to prepare for the big journey from Plymouth, England, to Massachusetts in the US. It'll work with scientists and other autonomous vessels to gather information on issues like
warming, micro plastic
pollution and marine mammal conservation. You can follow the ship's journey
on their website.
Weather was a huge factor in determining when to set sail. The team consulted with meteorologists from IBM's
The Weather Company each day to choose an ideal departure window and increase chances of success for the mission.
The ship, led by a team in Plymouth and software engineering from IBM, uses radar and GPS to navigate. Six cameras attached to the mast serve as the ship's "eyes" by feeding into an AI image recognition system that help it avoid oncoming ships and other hazards. The voyage to the US is estimated to take about three weeks.
First published on May 17, 2021 at 3:24 p.m. PT.
EVENT CALENDAR 2021
MAS 400 is an
trimaran powered by a
engine, piloted by a solar powered artificially intelligent
system developed by IBM called 'AI Captain.'
BIT OF HISTORY
first solar boat to travel around the world was the PlanetSolar,
coming home on the 4th of May 2012. Computing power was not as advanced
as it is today, when PlanetSolar set off on 27th September 2010,
following the Sunshine Route, first shown in London at the 1994/95 Boat
Show. Then in January 2013 a patent specification for a COLREGs
compliant, unmanned autonomous navigation system was filed by a BMS
engineer ( now our IP) with the suggestion in 'Claims' for using a solar
powered trimaran (patent granted 12 June 2019) as a suitable hull
configuration. This patent also included wind energy harvesting as
originally advertised for the Mayflower 400.
The original wooden
30-meter Mayflower took 66 days to carry
Founding Fathers from the U.K. to what is now the U.S. The voyage would
have involved a lot of tacking,
because sailing ships cannot sail directly into the wind. But the new
boat should take two to three weeks (14-21 days) depending on how strong
the prevailing trade
winds are, and assuming no technical glitches or marine accidents -
the whole point of the COLREGs
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