The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has partnered with the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS) in the Netherlands to test a fleet of autonomous boats in Amsterdam's canals.
The research team says the first prototypes of "roboats" are expected to be tested next year.
MIT and AMS also will develop a logistics platform that would superimpose a dynamic infrastructure over the city's waterways. Moreover, the team will deploy environmental sensing to monitor water quality and other data for assessing and predicting issues related to public health, pollution, and the environment.
"This project imagines a fleet of autonomous boats for the transportation of goods and people that can also cooperate to produce temporary floating infrastructure, such as on-demand bridges or stages that can be assembled or disassembled in a matter of hours," says Carlo Ratti, a professor in MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning. He notes the results of the ROBOAT effort could encourage other cities around the world to look to such autonomous technology to address transportation, mobility, and water-quality issues.
From MIT News
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