World’s first fleet of autonomous boats

AMS Institute launches Roboat the world’s first major research program on autonomous boats in metropolitan areas. Roboat will be conducted by researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Delft University of Technology (TUD) and Wageningen University and Research (WUR). The five-year program has a budget of €25 million and is set in Amsterdam.

Roboat is the world’s first large-scale research that explores and tests the rich set of possibilities for autonomous floating vessels on water. It will conduct research into autonomous boats for the transportation of goods and people, but also into dynamic and temporary floating infrastructure like on-demand bridges and stages, that can be assembled or disassembled in a matter of hours.

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Autonomous boats for the transportation of goods and people

Roboat Amsterdam

Temporary floating infrastructure like on-demand bridges and stages

Related post: Rolls-Royce reveals future shore control centre for autonomous vessels

“Roboat offers enormous possibilities,” says Arjan van Timmeren, Professor of Environmental Technology & Design at TU Delft and AMS Institute’s Scientific Director, “as we’ll also be exploring environmental sensing. We could for instance do further research on underwater robots that can detect diseases at an early stage or use Roboats to rid the canals from floating waste and find a more efficient way to handle the 12,000 bicycles that end up in the city’s canals each year.”

The first prototypes of Roboat will be visible in the waters of Amsterdam in 2017.

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