ASV Roboat

The basis for the Roboat is a commercial sailboat designed by Jan Herman Linge, the boat type Laerling. The boat was originally created for kids to learn sailing, and therefore safety and stability are the major characteristics of the boat. It has a length of 3.75 m and comprises a 60 kg keel-ballast, which will bring the boat upright even from the most severe heeling.


The boat can carry large payloads such as a battery bank and multiple sensors. Including batteries the overall weight of the boat is 300 kg. Additional payload of up to 50 kg is possible without impact on the sailing behaviour. The sail area of mainsail and foresail together is 4.5 m2. It is equipped with solar panels providing up to 285 W of power during conditions of full sun and a direct methanol fuel cell delivering 65 W as a backup energy source.


The Roboat features a three-stage communication system, combining WLAN, UMTS/GPRS and an IRIDIUM satellite communication system, allowing continuous real-time access from shore. This can be used, for example, to track and navigate the ship, or to transmit information on acoustic detections, to a shore-based command center.


The rudder and sails as well as the tacks and jibes are autonomously controlled by incoming data from various sensors (GPS, compass, anemometer, etc.) on an NMEA200-bus, which are analysed on an onboard PC running Linux.


The Roboat is virtually unsinkable, so the danger of losing the device is small, and any detected system malfunctions can be immediately reported to the command center.