No wind, a good race and a presidential visit.

24/05/2008 at 6:20 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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There was virtually no wind this morning but we finally managed to get a race with all four robots on water. Despite this Pinta sailed well and the ultrasonic wind sensor really shined in comparison to the rotary sensors some of the other teams were using. In such light winds the rotary sensors just didn’t give sensible readings while our ultrasonic sensor continued to do so.

This afternoon Heinz Fisher, president of Austria visited to witness the short “Man vs Machine” race in which a 15 year old sailor from the yacht club competed against all the robots. Despite sailing a boat shorter (and thus theoretically slower) than Pinta and ASV Roboboat (the Austrian boat) he still managed to beat them without even considering any handicapping of the boat. Something weird happened with Pinta’s rudder initialisation and the rudder only seemed to want to move halfway through its range, this meant we had no trouble reaching the first (and only) waypoint but failed to turn around afterwards.

We are now off for a post event meal onboard a boat that cruises round the lake. Then tomorrow we are showing off our robots in the town square before the 24 hour long journey back home. Its been a long week, we’ve blown up a lot of hardware, hacked a lot of things together but finally seem to have a boat that works.

The picture below shows President Heinz Fisher (the one in the grey suit facing the camera) looking at Pinta.

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