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Autonomous Boats Could Be Your Next Ride


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The latest version of the autonomous Roboat is 2 meters long and capable of carrying passengers.

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions in the Netherlands have developed what they're calling the world's first fleet of autonomous boats.

Credit: Daniela Rus et al

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions in the Netherlands have developed the world's first fleet of autonomous boats.

They also created navigation and control algorithms to update communication and collaboration among the boats.

Said MIT's Daniela Rus, "Roboat II navigates autonomously using algorithms similar to those used by self-driving cars, but now adapted for water."

Roboat II is two meters long and considered "half-scale."

The third installment is under construction and will be "full scale" at four meters long, and able to carry four to six passengers.

Roboat II features a new algorithm for Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM), a model-based optimal controller, and an optimization-based state estimator called moving horizon estimation.

The system enables Roboat II to create a feasible path to a desired destination based on current traffic conditions.

From MIT News
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