Olin is working with Community Boating of Boston to develop the RoboSail competition and class instructional materials.  The RoboSail Regatta challenges high school students to design and build a robotic model sailboat for competition in a regional regatta. The intent is to foster the development of knowledge, skills, and interest in engineering and science in a fun, engaging way.  The basic concept is to create a boat, up to 1 meter long, which can sail autonomously. The boat takes in information about wind, location, and bearing, makes decisions about sail trim and course, then generates control signals for on-board servo motors controlling the rudder and sail. Although some events require the boats to be fully autonomous, other events permit the rudder and/or sails to be controlled remotely from off the vessel. This allows teams to gradually increase the complexity of their boat, perhaps starting with only an autonomous sail trim system.   Race events are based on traditional sailing races and tasks, such as sailing a marked course or maintaining a lookout station. Teams will need to learn and apply the science of sailing, the strategy of navigation, and the technology involved in controlling a robotic device.  robosail.org

robosail