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Station Keeping

Video from the "Station Keeping" portion of the IRSR.  The Team recorded a time of 5:16 and earned a score of 4.5 out of 10 possible points.  Unfortunately, the team accrued a 5 point deduction as the boat was run in R/C mode oppose to autonomous mode. 

Official Rules of "Station Keeping":

Boats will sail into a 40 m x 40 m "box" formed by four buoys. The boats are to remain in the box for five minutes, then exit the box. Boats that complete these requirements will receive 9 points. If a boat leaves the box its score will be proportional to the amount of time it is in the box during the five minute period, rounded to the nearest tenth of a point. For example, if a boat remains in the box for three of the five minutes it will score 5.4 points. The boat sailing autonomously that stays in the box the least amount of time over five minutes will receive a bonus of one point. In other words a bonus is given for a quick exit. Manual rudder or sail control after the boat enters the box will incur a 50% penalty for all points scored in this event. The minimum score for a boat that enters and leaves the box, regardless of whether manual or autonomous is two points. Subject to time available, boats may make multiple scoring runs in the station keeping contest. Starting priority will be given to the boat with the least number of completed runs. If the number of completed runs is equal, priority will be given to the boat with the best score in the first fleet race. Only one boat will be allowed in the box at a time.


Overhead Video of IRSR Competition

Check out 3DR GoPro video.

San Francisco News Coverage of 2014 IRSR

From KPIX5 in San Francisco -  From around the world, five elite engineering teams have gathered at the California Maritime Academy in Vallejo, where they are racing robotic sailboats. Check out the video below and see the full story at KPIX 5.


Check out the team exploring California before competition.


System Test

Over the past two weekends the Electronics Team has been busy testing their systems on First Time (loaned to the team by the U.S. Naval Academy) at the Duck Pond on the Virginia Tech campus. 

The primary controller onboard the boat is a Raspberry Pi running the C++ programming language. The Pi also communicates with an Arduino microcontroller through I2C. The boat has two primary actuators: one servo for rudder control, and one winch to control the sail(s). The Arduino interfaces with a Davis Anemometer, which measures wind speed and direction. A Hemisphere GPS unit measures position, and heading, which is calculated with dual-GPS antennas along with a three-axis gyroscope unit.

Keel Construction with help from Solidafide

A hydrodynamic keel strut was first developed with comparative naval architecture, built in Rhino/ORCA 3D and then 3D printed with the help of our newest corporate sponsor - Solidafide

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