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FishPi: Raspberry Pi Powered Autonomous Boat To Cross the Ocean

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the dolphins-protest-sea-drone-program dept.

Hardware Hacking 136

lukehopewell1 writes "The Raspberry Pi is a triumph in computing, and it's now set to become a triumph in robotics as one developer plans to build a model boat around it and sail it across the Atlantic Ocean, completely unmanned. It's codenamed FishPi and will see a model boat sail across the Atlantic all by itself save for a camera, GPS module, compass and solar panels." The creator is posting updates on the build progress using a forum on his website.

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136 comments

Bingo! (SlashDot Bingo) (5, Funny)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about 2 years ago | (#40468201)

"BitCoin"..."Raspberry Pi"...Bingo!

Re:Bingo! (SlashDot Bingo) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40468403)

Fuck you, steve.

Re:Bingo! (SlashDot Bingo) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40468575)

You're cheating. Bitcoin hasn't been called yet.

Re:Bingo! (SlashDot Bingo) (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40469243)

Should have been called "Life of Pi"

Re:Bingo! (SlashDot Bingo) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40469767)

"Near Field Communication"... "Raspberry Pi"... "BitCoin"... ???Profit???

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40468211)

Fish * Pi = Boat?

Fish Pi (1)

stevegee58 (1179505) | about 2 years ago | (#40468245)

Not to be confused with fish pie, which sounds nasty (or Norwegian)

Re:Fish Pi (1)

kidgenius (704962) | about 2 years ago | (#40468265)

I dunno man...crawfish pie is some tasty stuff

Re:Fish Pi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40469213)

Crappie is tasty too. (A kind of fresh-water bass of the genus Pomoxys, found in the rivers of the Southern United States and Mississippi valley.)

drone boats (2)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 2 years ago | (#40468215)

available on the cheap to a script kiddie near you

Re:drone boats - subs (3, Funny)

RichMan (8097) | about 2 years ago | (#40468353)

Make it an underwater glider and give homeland security another panic attack.

Re:drone boats - subs (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40468601)

They're probably already worried about it being used in quantity for drug running. How do you arrest someone that isn't there?

Low carriage capacity (1)

DrYak (748999) | about 2 years ago | (#40468731)

The FishPi can't carry much cargo, so it isn't that much useful for drug running at that size.

And even if some drug lord decide to fit it into one of the cheap plastic minisubmarine, you have a second problem:
The FishPi needs some way to get updated information about its waypoint (given changing weather conditions) and update its position to mission control (and upload nice webcam pictures). For the final fishpi, it's going to be made with a sattelite modem. If it was fitted into some drug running vehicle, it could be rather easy to spot and triangulate the modem.

Drug runner are much better of using onboard human brain power getting updates over FM radio.

Re:Low carriage capacity (3, Funny)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#40468929)

So you make it a little bigger. Better yet get rid of the hull. Just press your drugs into a boat like shape, seal that in plastic and install the hardware to turn it into a DrugFishPi.

I am not sure how you would know which modem is a drug one or not. The only data the drugfishpi needs to send is final location.

Re:Low carriage capacity (3, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#40468977)

Drug runner are much better of using onboard human brain power getting updates over FM radio.

The premise is that if you use robots you can spam them. Drugs are cheap where they are produced, some of them amazingly so. People are cheap too, but getting them to where you want them isn't necessarily. If you can build lots of small smuggling drones with toy technology and then spam your target with them, and have them receive-only until they are near their destination, there's no reason why they should be easily detected. The same is true, of course, of fleets of autonomous bombs.

Re:Low carriage capacity (1)

egamma (572162) | about 2 years ago | (#40470373)

Drug runner are much better of using onboard human brain power getting updates over FM radio.

The premise is that if you use robots you can spam them. Drugs are cheap where they are produced, some of them amazingly so. People are cheap too, but getting them to where you want them isn't necessarily. If you can build lots of small smuggling drones with toy technology and then spam your target with them, and have them receive-only until they are near their destination, there's no reason why they should be easily detected. The same is true, of course, of fleets of autonomous bombs.

Then there's the problem of random people on the beach picking up your drugs and stealing them.

Re:Low carriage capacity (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#40470699)

Then there's the problem of random people on the beach picking up your drugs and stealing them.

When they get near the target they can start sending out pings with encrypted telemetry.

Re:Low carriage capacity (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 2 years ago | (#40470085)

As the comment above me says, the brains of this thing will work in an oceanliner almost as well as what they are currently in, so scaling it up enough to work for cargo isn't an issue.

You can run it underwater with a floating dongle/antenna at the service. Practically impossible to see on the ocean open in ANY form, electronic or otherwise unless you happen to get hit by the dongle when it passes you by.

You're acting like they'd have to use THIS configuration to get it to work. You go receive only, no transmission, no real need for it. All you need is a destination and a GPS. Just using it to get across territorial waters without getting put in jail doesn't require weather updates, you only launch when you can see clear skys, its only got a few hundred miles to travel AT MOST, you can predict weather long enough for that and an occasional loss of shipment isn't really a big deal considering thats already a risk importing now. This particular risk is directly under the distributors control, unlike the coast gaurd and border patrol, ICE.

Not like you couldn't stick a receiver on it for FM and let it pick up encrypted transmissions for new coordinates too for that matter, again, it doesn't have to transmit, it just has to get to some known location that you can secure and pickup from.

Re:drone boats - subs (1)

fa2k (881632) | about 2 years ago | (#40470053)

They're probably already worried about it being used in quantity for drug running.

What a cool idea! If it really is cheap, it could do for cargo what the internet did for information. Only problem would be that irresponsible users would fill the ocean with junk.

Re:drone boats - subs (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#40468687)

Given that underwater gliders, usually with a fairly high degree of autonomy(if for no other reason than communicating underwater on teeny batteries is damn difficult), have been a thing in oceanography for some years, I imagine that team jackboots has either already had their panic attack, or is too dense to start now.

Incidentally, though: I'm actually surprised that they went with a boat design, rather than a glider design. Yes, submersion-proofing electronics isn't entirely trivial; but some of those gliders are crazy efficient, and have a convenient invulnerability to even the nastiest wind/waves/salt-spray forming a crust on stuff, by virtue of spending most of their life underwater...

Re:drone boats - subs (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#40468931)

some of those gliders are crazy efficient, and have a convenient invulnerability to even the nastiest wind/waves/salt-spray forming a crust on stuff, by virtue of spending most of their life underwater...

The problem is that they spend most of their life underwater, which means that they're not going to get a lot of solar power. Also, stuff can still crust on them, it just won't be salt. It'll be life.

Re:drone boats - subs (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | about 2 years ago | (#40468945)

Nevermind glider design, they went with amounts to a rowboat or fishing boat hull. That thing is going to capsize during the first gnarly wave or wind gust, and will never right itself. I predict it will make it about 100 miles before it is never heard of again.

All in all, that concept is going to utterly fail for a number of reasons. I guess that's what happens when landlubbers try to go boating.

Re:drone boats - subs (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 2 years ago | (#40469335)

130W solar cells to drive it, with no masts or sails.

Which means, under ideal conditions, a trolling motor pushing you across the Atlantic.

Good luck with that.

Re:drone boats (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 2 years ago | (#40469137)

It's nothing new. I've picked my share of Corona beer bottles tossed in the ocean on the US east coast and crossing the Atlantic to Western Europe, without the assistance of a Raspberry Pi.

Weekly Post (0, Troll)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#40468235)

Ah yes, the weekly Raspberry Pi post.

Re:Weekly Post (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40468405)

Don't be a downer. The ideas being brought about becuase of the Raspberry Pi really are that awesome.

Maybe you should stop consuming for a minute and start building!

Re:Weekly Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40468681)

Build something from other various products. How is hobby building anything more than consumerism?

Re:Weekly Post (3, Insightful)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 2 years ago | (#40468789)

Build something from other various products. How is hobby building anything more than consumerism?

Other than they both involved buying stuff, in just about every possible way. For one thing, hobby building usually requires thinking, innovation, and creativity, as well as re-use and a ton of other stuff consumerism finds absolutely abhorrent.

Re:Weekly Post (3, Insightful)

chispito (1870390) | about 2 years ago | (#40468467)

Ah yes, the weekly Raspberry Pi post.

One post a week is really that bad?

Re:Weekly Post (1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#40468655)

Ah yes, the weekly Raspberry Pi post.

One post a week is really that bad?

Especially since they seem to have drowned out the ARDWEEEEEENO posts?

Re:Weekly Post (1)

Grieviant (1598761) | about 2 years ago | (#40469325)

Yes, it is "that bad" when the posts are blatantly sensationalized marketing pieces about random plans instead of completed projects. "Triumph in computing and robotics?" Give me a fucking break. You'd have to be completely ignorant of the history of embedded computing to write such absurdities.

Re:Weekly Post (1)

swanzilla (1458281) | about 2 years ago | (#40469423)

Yes, it is "that bad" when the posts are blatantly sensationalized marketing pieces about random plans instead of completed projects. "Triumph in computing and robotics?" Give me a fucking break. You'd have to be completely ignorant of the history of embedded computing to write such absurdities.

Ahem. It runs Linux.

Re:Weekly Post (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 2 years ago | (#40470213)

This post may be a troll, but its dead on.

You know what would make the Raspberry Pi fucking awesome ... IF I COULD ACTUALLY BUY ONE AND GET IT SENT SOMETIME THIS YEAR.

Seriously, the Raspberry Pi is cool and all, and I'd LOVE to hear all about it and play with one ... but until they actually produce enough of them, please to be shutting the fuck up with stories about 'cheap computing for everyone' when all of 10 people actually have one in their hands.

TPB (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40468257)

In other news, The Pirate Bay is making a hole auto-driven unmanned-island in which to house it's servers, all powered by Raspberry's...

They've called it the Piland...

This was posted to soon (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40468271)

Shouldn't this be an article of after they built it and it about to leave on it's trip? I could say hey I'm creating a rocket launch system and rocket guidance system using Raspberry Pi that will take my hamster not only into near earth orbit but also using GPS and compass gliding back to earth to my backyard all caught on it's internal camera. Oh and it's all solar powered. Call it RocketPi. Come on.... Anyone can start building anything wait for it ready to be tested before everyone goes ape over it.

Re:This was posted to soon (2)

mk1004 (2488060) | about 2 years ago | (#40469135)

Yes, this is just a concept, nothing more. Further, as written there's no way to check its progress. There are systems available that use GPS and a transmitter to periodically send position data to a satellite. It's not likely we're going to get live images.

Even if it's successfully built and launched, a lot could go wrong and it's likely no one would ever know why.

Triumph of computing? (2)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#40468273)

Come on now. It's a nifty device, that's about it.

Re:Triumph of computing? (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 2 years ago | (#40469009)

its not even that considering most of us cant even order one, and those who can are totally left in the dark about when or even if they will receive one

meh

Re:Triumph of computing? (1)

chispito (1870390) | about 2 years ago | (#40470975)

I ordered with Newark here in the US the day after they went up for pre-order and got mine in early June. Their FAQ says that by the first week of July, they (Farnell) will have shipped 100k units. I think that's pretty encouraging, since this is from just one of the two distributors, even if demand so high as to produce long waits.

source: http://www.element14.com/community/docs/DOC-43262?ICID=rasp_group [element14.com]

Q. Are you on track with your promise to fill all back orders? A. Yes. We made a promise to customers who ordered before 18th April, that they would ship their Pi’s before the end of June. We are on track to keep that commitment. We will have shipped out 41,000 Raspberry Pis by the end of May and our customers will have received, or will be receiving their Pis over the next few days. We are on track to have shipped 100,000 Raspberry Pis by the end of June and have further production planned for delivery to customers in July. (Modified on 20-June : We're sorry to have to say that due to an unforeseen production delay with our manufacturer, there will be a short delay of up to 1 week. Orders that were received before 18th April will now be shipped at the end of June / early July. For orders received after the 18th April, we will be shipping those deliveries throughout July into August. We will send you an email confirming your delivery prior to despatch.)

eBay (2)

bradgoodman (964302) | about 2 years ago | (#40468289)

Woo hoo! I can't wait to pick the thing up on eBay after the Somali pirates get a hold of it! ;-)

Re:eBay (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40468499)

Breaking news: Somali pirates are now in the Atlantic. And now we go to Steve for the weather.

Reverse engineer the Pi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40468311)

My only complaint about the R.P. is that I am only now getting the chance to order one and because it's coming from England it's taking 11 weeks minimum. Anyone know how hard it would be to reverse engineer one of these ala Arduino?

Re:Reverse engineer the Pi? (1)

Dave Whiteside (2055370) | about 2 years ago | (#40468347)

get in the queue and get one ordered
and they come from farnell / rs / element14 from all over the world now.
some places are harder to get it to though

Re:Reverse engineer the Pi? (1)

DogDude (805747) | about 2 years ago | (#40468449)

Go to your local thrift store and get a used computer for $20.

Re:Reverse engineer the Pi? (2)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#40468705)

Go to your local thrift store and get a used computer for $20.

Power consumption 50 times higher, weighs 20 times more, and approx zero I/O ports. You'd do better arguing cats and dogs are the same.

Re:Reverse engineer the Pi? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#40469001)

Power consumption 50 times higher, weighs 20 times more, and approx zero I/O ports

Zero? Typically you're going to get either two serial ports and a parallel port, or you're going to get one serial port, maybe a parallel port, and at least a couple of USB ports. Lots of stuff has been bit-banged off of parallel ports. Your other points, however, are bang on. The appeal of R-Pi is that it packs a whole lot of power into a very small package and with pretty good power consumption.

Re:Reverse engineer the Pi? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#40468775)

I suspect that reverse engineering wouldn't be your problem(I can't remember if they've finished releasing all the board specs or not; but it isn't being treated as a zOMG super secret.); but obtaining and fabricating the parts at a price that wouldn't make a beagle-something, or even the guts of the fanciest Android device currently shipping a more sensible proposition...

I'm told that attempting to order cost-optimized SoCs from Broadcom in quantity 1 is even trickier and less fun than trying to solder several-hundred-contact BGA packages without specialist equipment...

Arduinos, by contrast, were through-hole DIPs for much of their life, with even the later or cheaper/smaller variants generally being mere surface mount, still with actual leads and everything.

Re:Reverse engineer the Pi? (3, Informative)

makomk (752139) | about 2 years ago | (#40468989)

The closed-source bootloader is actually only licensed for use on the Raspberry Pi and it runs on the totally undocumented VideoCore hardware, so even if somehow you did manage to get hold of the components you couldn't legally build your own. I suspect it might also require a custom ROM bootloader that's only on the chips supplied to Raspberry Pi too or something.

Re:Reverse engineer the Pi? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#40469061)

Given that this is Broadcom we are talking about, I can't muster much surprise; but the idea of getting all worked up over having your own secret proprietary ARM bootloader seems kind of nuts, given how utterly common ARM bootloaders are... Not even executing on the part of the chip with a known architecture certainly is a classy touch, though...

Re:Reverse engineer the Pi? (1)

dark12222000 (1076451) | about 2 years ago | (#40469315)

It's not so much the bootloader, but rather it's tied into the graphics SoC, and the parts needed to get that playing nicely.

Propulsion (2)

stevegee58 (1179505) | about 2 years ago | (#40468317)

I was wondering why a Kort Nozzle & Propeller were selected for propulsion. A wave propulstion system would be potentially more reliable for the long haul.

Re:Propulsion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40468547)

Heh, "potentially more reliable" -- yeah, I'm potentially gonna bet on springs and ratchets over well-established motors, bearings and props. Sure, there's only been one wave-powered ocean vessel to date, but all the failure mechanisms are completely understood, so there's no way we get bit by one when scaling it down...

What exactly do you think is likely to fail about a conventional electric propulsion system (ducted or not)?

Re:Propulsion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40468657)

seaweed tangled in the prop. prop sucks in driftwood. etc etc.
moving objects do not go well with sea water.

Re:Propulsion (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40469923)

Moving objects, like the flippers on a wave-powered boat? Yep, they can get fouled. And since you don't have a motor to reverse them, you have even more of no chance in hell of remotely clearing them.

Re:Propulsion (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | about 2 years ago | (#40468565)

I was wondering why a Kort Nozzle & Propeller were selected for propulsion. A wave propulstion system would be potentially more reliable for the long haul.

Ducted props are a pretty mature technology at this point.

Re:Propulsion (1)

stevegee58 (1179505) | about 2 years ago | (#40468735)

I'm still trying to picture a boat the size of a skateboard with a 1.5" propellor going up and down 20 foot waves. How can it go in a straight line under conditions like that?

Re:Propulsion (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#40468997)

The problem you describe could simply be a case of severe failing-to-think-it-through. However, with patience and a decent feedback/compensation mechanism, it might be possible to simply sidestep the problem entirely.

Have you ever watched, in video or in person, a bunch of ants moving? The little klutzes can barely walk properly. They run around, stagger all over the place, trip, slide, attempt to climb structurally unsound objects, tumble over one another, etc. However, on average the aggregate ant mass keeps going in the right direction.

In the same vein, so long as it is capable of righting itself if(read when) it flips, and isn't required to follow a precise path, or hit any specific waypoints with any great accuracy, a tiny vessel could perfectly conceivably manage the correct average heading...

Re:Propulsion (1)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | about 2 years ago | (#40469033)

Waves aren't that big out on the open ocean. It's more of a gentle rise and fall.

Big waves are made when the wave motion interacts with a shallow bottom like near shore.

Re:Propulsion (1)

DrData99 (916924) | about 2 years ago | (#40469199)

Wow. You clearly have never been out in the ocean in a storm. Waves can get Really Really Big. And they do.
Hell, just look up the Deadliest Catch episode where a rogue wave breaks the window on the bridge if you don't believe...

Re:Propulsion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40469839)

Most Bering Sea fishing occurs on the continental shelf of the U.S.'s exclusive economic zone. Therefore, the water, while deep, is nowhere near as deep as the oceans. It is less than half of the average (almost 1/3) the depth of the ocean. It is even shallower than the Caribbean Sea and barely deeper than the Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterranean; and if you don't count the Russian or international parts, is shallower then the aforementioned seas (the really deep parts are in those two zones).

Re:Propulsion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40470061)

You seem to be under the impression his PoC platform for testing the software is the same as the eventual ocean-going vessel. Perhaps because you can't read?

thhhar she blows! (2)

DeTech (2589785) | about 2 years ago | (#40468337)

I hope he posts updates or enables live tracking..

That way we can try and sink it, I'll get the kickstarter project going.

Sailboat (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | about 2 years ago | (#40468397)

A sailboat would be a real challenge.

Re:Sailboat (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#40468841)

For extra credit: The only airflow sensors you get are strain gauges at the attachment points of the sail(s), so your power/control surface is also your sensor array... Modeling textile behavior in a fluid system,in real time, is totally within the capabilities of a weedy little ARM core, right?

Re:Sailboat (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#40469069)

Modeling textile behavior in a fluid system,in real time, is totally within the capabilities of a weedy little ARM core, right?

It probably is, but you probably don't have to. As long as you have a sensor that gives you your heading, you should be able to figure it out without actually understanding what the sail is doing with any precision; either it's pulling or it isn't. On the other hand, you'd pretty much have to make it out of unobtainium to get it to cross the ocean at that size.

It would be fairly awesome to build a full scale autonomous yacht, though, and it might not even be all that expensive aside from the solar panels, which you might be able to get donated. There's boats lined up in harbors just waiting for someone to take them away for very little money, and surely at least one of the cheap ones has only cosmetic issues and a damaged or missing engine that you won't need anyway if you're converting the motor drive to electric. Probably the most expensive part would be the insurance.

Re:Sailboat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40469469)

People have already tried (and are currently trying) see http://www.microtransat.org and https://microtransat.wordpress.com/.

Dash it all (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40468401)

So Raspberry Pi has *already* powered an autonomous boat to cross the ocean?

Or are we talking about a Raspberry Pi-powered autonomous boat that's yet to do so? :)

Re:Dash it all (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40468523)

Why do you think they take 11 weeks to ship from England to the states ;)

a triumph in computing.. it's a what? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40468425)

Some people now have one. Better than it has been. And now its a triumph. It may prove to be useful. It may prove to be educational, but its unlikely ever to be a triumph and certainly isn't now.

Server crash imminent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40468431)

He got on here, the register and the raspberry pi site. His server is going to have a fit.

Reminds me of... (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | about 2 years ago | (#40468545)

...an old black and white movie called Mystery Liner, about a futuristic ocean liner that used some yet-to-be-invented technology to let it navigate the ocean autonomously. Always nice to see another sci-fi dream come true.

Autonomous Navy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40468689)

And now we see how SkyNet will rule the seas!

Thank god for model boats! (1)

Ecuador (740021) | about 2 years ago | (#40468699)

If it wasn't for model boats they wouldn't have gotten the idea for the big boats... right?

Design (1)

ArmchairGeneral (1244800) | about 2 years ago | (#40468791)

I can understand the hull they're using for testing in a controlled area, but why not just build a crappy boat with hull and test with that. They won't be able to deploy this model to the ocean, something more like a submarine that travels on the surface would be a better design.

di34 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40468897)

something cool Volatile world of

Pun +1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40469185)

"Pi"sces. amirite?

DogPi, CatPi, BatPi, GrumPi (1)

csumpi (2258986) | about 2 years ago | (#40469295)

These are just future slashdot titles.

Next time someone straps a Raspberry Pi onto some object (Dog, Cat, Bat, Grumpy (from Snowwhite)), you'll see it right here. Best thing, it doesn't even have to work.

In fact, Pi-ing is the next planking.

Proof of concept and dreams of reality (1)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about 2 years ago | (#40469349)

By TFAs mention of 130 watts solar the boat will need to be quite a lot bigger than what I would quantify as a harmless toy reflected in the proof of concept work.

Please don't forget proper lights, active+passive radar reflectors and ais on the non-toy version. There are enough hazards out there to real people who are all required to keep a lookout at all times.

Instead of a larger boat with a large array, problems and power requirements to go with consider something creative... using wave motion, sails or ride out prevaling currents to keep the size down to where it would at least not be a danger to anyone.

Conformal coat all of your electronics before you cast them in toupperwear.

Marine law (1)

slasho81 (455509) | about 2 years ago | (#40469421)

A boat that size must keep a watch at all times. Also there's the small issue of the COLREGS [wikipedia.org] , which aren't simple to follow even for humans. It's a serious safety issue. Obviously not for the unmanned boat, but for other vessels that may come in its way.

Re:Marine law (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40470751)

Dude, the boat is only twenty inches long! It has no requirements at all.

Re:Marine law (1)

slasho81 (455509) | about 2 years ago | (#40470903)

Oh! You're right. I thought they are using the Cygnus DS25 which is 7.8 meters long, but they're using a model of the model.

first Pi! (2)

Speare (84249) | about 2 years ago | (#40469485)

At the rate that Raspberry Pi units are being made and shipped, this may very well be the first RPi that arrives on this side of the pond.

Don't get me wrong, I love the concept, I feel for the group that has designed the thing, I have just been frustrated at the lack of availability.

Re:first Pi! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40469611)

I have mine in my grubby little hands here in the midwestern US.

what Pi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40469827)

The "triumph in computing" needs to become more available in order to be called as such. The lead times are >15weeks.

why not a smartphone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40469867)

Explain me why this boat's control system couldn't have been built around a simple android phone (with the said camera and GPS built in)?

Re:why not a smartphone (2)

BitZtream (692029) | about 2 years ago | (#40470449)

Because you'd still need a RPi to interface with android so you could have the GPIO and such needed for control. This meets the requirements, an android device alone does not.

You Know what? (1)

kuhnto (1904624) | about 2 years ago | (#40470223)

I really do not care... People act like the Pi is some revolutionary thing, the likes of which, have never been seen by human eyes. Whoop... De... Do... Go smoke your fish pie

The real deal in this area (1)

Animats (122034) | about 2 years ago | (#40470315)

So this guy is going to send a 20 inch long model boat across the Atlantic. Right.

The Liquid Robotics Wave Gliders [liquidr.com] already travel around the world's oceans autonomously. Liquid Robotics sent Wave Gliders from Hawaii to California, then up to Alaska and back. The Wave Glider looks like a surfboard, and trails an underwater "glider". As wave action moves the surfboard up and down, the gliders's spring-loaded vanes pull it forward. The glider has a powered rudder, the only moving part. The surfboard has solar panels, a computer, a GPS, a compass, and an Iridium satellite phone. Wave gliders have been through major storms without problems. Control is good enough that they generally stay within 50 meters of the programmed track. The U.S.Coast Guard classifies them as "floating debris", so they don't have to show lights. They're no more of a threat to ships than a loose surfboard.

The "Rasberry PI", after all, is simply a board which takes a quite good IC and brings out the pins to connectors. It's not like the Rasberry PI people developed the Broadcom BCM2835. [broadcom.com]

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