This unmanned solar-powered autonomous boat is making its journey to cross the Atlantic ocean.
The idea follows in the wake of Klepper E-Kayak since it is an add-on kit for a human powered vessel, Solar Voyager designed to be unmanned completely. It can reach a top speed of 3 mph (5 km/h) running off 280-watt array of solar panels. It can stored in batteries for night-time travel and connects to Iridum satellite constellation to navigate to pre-programmed GPS waypoints.
The robo-boat sized 18 feet (5.5 m) long and 2.5 feet (0.76 m) wide made of aluminum. The boat tips the scales at around 550 lb (250 kg). The project team acknowledge is a drawback in terms of drag and efficiency, but the trade-off was made for a more stable vessel in a better resistance against mechanical shocks.
Prioritizing its strength could lead to its success and failure in the open ocean as the robo-boat makes its way across the Atlantic. It was launched las June 1, from Gloucester, Massachusetts attempting to reach Lisbon, Portugal, a journey expected for four months. The vessel reports its location every 15 minutes with details with its speed, bearing, weather and power generated and consumed.