Galway Hosts the Seventh Annual World Robotic Sailing Championship and
International Robotic Sailing Conference
Galway City will host
the seventh World Robotic
Sailing Championship (WRSC2014) from 9-13 September
2014. Fully autonomous and unmanned
up to 2.5m in length compete over a series of short
distance racing, navigation and autonomy challenges,
taking place around
the Port of Galway.
This year teams from Galway, Wales, US, Finland, France, Portugal and
Russia will participate. This is the first time that Ireland has hosted the event. Organised in conjunction with the WRSC, the International Robotic Sailing Conference (IRSC2014) will take place
on Monday, 8 September,
in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway. IRSC provides
a platform to discuss the broad
range of scientific problems involved in the design and
development of autonomous sailboats.
NUI Galway Engineering Lecturer and event Co-Chair, Dr Fearghal Morgan, said: “The International Robotic Sailing Conference provides international researchers with the opportunity to
present and exchange ideas
on their work on a wide range of topics
related to autonomous surface marine robotics, particularly robotic sailing. Previous IRSC/WRSC events have been hosted in France, Wales, Germany, Canada, Portugal and Austria. We invite
participation from anyone who
might be interested in this
work.” Details of the conference
programme and delegate registration can be found at http://wrsc2014.com/conference/.
Robotic sailing offers the potential of long range and
long term autonomous wind
propelled, solar or wave-powered carbon neutral
devices. Robotic sailing devices could potentially contribute to monitoring of environmental, ecological, meteorological, hydrographic and oceanographic
data. These devices can also be used in traffic
monitoring, security, assistance and rescue.
The WRSC competitions propose tasks such as station, speed in different conditions, accuracy,
obstacle avoidance, target tracking, endurance and cooperation, all performed autonomously. The competition,
originally designed for sailboats, also includes a motorboats category in order to bring together
the scientific communities
that work on different types of autonomous marine vehicles.
A bottle boat competition will also be held
with several Irish entries competing.
Event Co-Chair Dermot Tynan of Hewlett Packard, Galway said: “The dependency on changing winds and
sea conditions presents a considerable challenge for short and long term route and stability planning, collision avoidance and boat
control. Building a robust and seaworthy autonomous sailing robot
presents a truly complex and
multi-disciplinary challenge for boat
naval architects, electronic and embedded systems
engineers and computer
scientists. Since 2004, events such as Sailbot, Microtransat Challenge, World Robotic Sailing Championship and the International Robotic Sailing Conference have sparked an explosion
in the number of groups working on autonomous sailing robots. To date,
the longest distance sailed autonomously is almost 400km.
in building truly autonomous sailing robots still remain unsolved.”
“We are looking forward to welcoming international teams, many of whom are travelling long distances by sea and overland to bring robotic sailing boats to the West of Ireland. This demonstrates their enormous dedication and enthusiasm.” Information on each WRSC
team entry and
schedule is available at http://wrsc2014.com/teams.
The IRSC/WRSC event also includes two free public exhibitions
in the Aula Maxima,
NUI Galway on Sunday,
7 September from 2-5pm and on Monday, 8 September from 11am-4pm, at
which several of the robotic sailboats will
be exhibited. All are welcome. School groups
are asked to contact the organisers in advance.
2014 and WRSC 2014 are sponsored by Hewlett Packard, NUI Galway, Port
Galway, Galway Bay Sailing
Club and Intel Ireland.
Seaquester, United States Naval Academy, Length: 2m
FASt Autonomous Sailboat, Length 2.5m, University of Porto / INESC TEC Video (FASt): http://paginas.fe.up.pt/~jca/roboticsailing.pt/media.html Project link: www.roboticsailing.pt
“Kitty”, length 2m, Aberystwyth University, Wales
ABoat United States Naval Academy