Autonomous sailing with Ardupilot


Thanks DIYDrones community! We at the Royal Military College of Canada used the Ardupilot software and ground station as a basis for programming our 2m autonomous wing-sailed trimaran. This made our lives much easier while building and programming the boat during the 3 month time frame before it competed in Sailbot 2010

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  • I would love to help out but I am afraid I have never actually used the ArduBoat software. 

  • 3D Robotics

    Glad to see the interest in autonomous boats. If any of you would like to help set up an ArduBoat manual (next to the Plane, Copter and Rover manuals), we'd be glad to handle the backend stuff and host it. Just let me know and I'll put you in touch with the editorial team. 

  • Hey Brian,
    All this was written 3 years ago. By the time we got it working it had turned into quite a hack-job to get things working. We also had an airfoil tail instead of a sheet line. We later switched that to a worm gear system to turn the sail. All that is piled on the code. 

    It is available here:
    What you really may be interested in though is the BOAT_NAV page which is summed up here: It may not be state of the art robotics but those if statements have been quite reliable. Please keep us posted on your design. 

  • I have a sail boat project going.... I have installed a small brusless motor to a basic 2m sail boat. The idea is to have the boat travel from way point to waypoint. I'd like to use it for FPV sailing :) the idea incorporates a brusless gimble to stabilize the cam.... I'd be very interested in the code you have there :)

    I'd like to be able to use the sail when possible, and the motor as a back up.. . any ideas?

  • Thanks Glenn. Looks like a good encoder for the job.
    Sorry a bit slow to reply. (was out camping all last week without i-net)
  • Thank you!

    I'm working with my 2M RC boat. Hoping I can skip the compass and get by with a GPS, and a "$10 home-made potentiometer based wind instrument". So far my pot on the wind vane is to stiff. It needs a longer lever or something easier to turn (opto encoder?).

    Planing similar code of head to way point if it can otherwise tack back and forth until it can head to the way point. Also define a polygon (bounds of sailing area) that it has to stay inside of.

  • Developer
    RMC! I did a quick exchange there from US Naval Academy. Good to see you guys on here!
  • Very nice looking work and I'm sure with the advice you can access here you will have a super effective working solution soon.
  • Robbie -

    Do you have any videos ? I'd love to see the boat in action.
  • K I posted all the code here:
This reply was deleted.