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May 24, 2020, 05:31 PM
rshousha's Avatar
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Autonomous Sailing

I want to build up a class of boats for autonomous racing. I would like to get ideas from people about what their dream autonomous racing class might look like Sailing? Power? Development class? Fixed class? What kind of AI is allowed? Power sources? Length of races?

What would be the point?

I would like to hear whatever anyone thinks about this idea.
Last edited by rshousha; Oct 19, 2020 at 08:56 AM.
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May 29, 2020, 01:40 PM
Team of ONE....or...Team Me
DeadTom's Avatar
Personally, I am not a boat person. But I used to watch hydroplanes racing here in this city on a local waterway and that was exciting.
So, electric hydroplanes, 7-8 minutes race time.
What's the point of any racing? It's exciting, fun and can be quite challenging in whatever vehicle you choose to race in.
good luck and have fun
May 29, 2020, 08:32 PM
rshousha's Avatar
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Hi DT,

I guess I was not clear on the question about the point of the exercise. What I meant was to find a mission for the effort. Racing needs to have some sort of learning component.

I have been a yacht racer for more than fifty years and all my racing has been a means to learning about sail trim and weather. This leads to more comfortable sailing, no matter what the boat looks like and whether you are racing or cruising.

I think you are right about starting with powerboats but, in my opinion, there needs to be a power conservation component. Races must be long enough to drain the batteries completely if power is not managed. The boat needs to be able to analyze its own path and adjust acceleration and deceleration in relation to the power consumption and the length of the course.

There definitely has to be a machine-learning component to the racing.

Sailing, of course, would be much more complex because the boat can learn how much it decelerates in tacks as well as how much power is used in winching the sail back in after a tack and simply moving the rudder through the water.

Thanks for your input; that's one vote for powerboat races.
Oct 19, 2020, 08:55 AM
rshousha's Avatar
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It seems this project is bigger than I was thinking, but way more exciting. Machine learning is a growing field and creating a machine-learning platform for sailing will revolutionize cruising.

As I do my research, I am realizing that getting accurate data from a number of sensors, and understanding the correlations between cause and effect of responses is going to be the first level of development.

This brings me to something I call PDA (Performance Driver Analysis). I will update this in the next few days.

Best Regards,


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