Becoming an accomplished sailor isn’t easy, but a group of European sailing enthusiasts have just made the sport a little more accessible for beginners. The ASV Roboat is a solar-powered, Linux-brained sailboat that can sail anywhere and navigate pre-set race courses with no human intervention.
The Roboat is actually an adapted 3.75m Laerling beginner’s sailing vessel that is tricked out with a Linux operating system and a control software suite that uses Java and C++.
The boat also features sensors that track position and speed over ground, speed through water, ultrasonic wind speed, and more. When a destination is set, the Roboat’s chain-driven motors adjust the mainsail, jib, rudder, and boom.
In case its solar panels fail, the Roboat also comes with a methanol fuel cell for backup.
And while there are other robotic sailboats floating around the ocean, the Roboat may be the best— earlier this year, the boat won the first World Robotic Sailing Championship.
Photo Credit: Roboat
Ariel Schwartz was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a contributor at Fast Company, Inhabitat, Triple Pundit, SF Weekly, and NBC Bay Area Online. A graduate of Vassar College, she has previously worked in publishing, organic farming, documentary film, and newspaper journalism. Her interests include permaculture, hiking, skiing, music, relocalization, and cob (the building material). She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.