MIT introduces a robot boat

Over the past five years, the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL

) Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT) and the Senseable City Lab are working to build dozens of autonomous boats for use by Amsterdam residents. Now they represent autonomous boats that can be assembled into a floating structure. Scientists note that they can now move on to the testing stage of devices with passengers.

This boat is only two meters long and cancarry up to two passengers through the canals of Amsterdam. The Roboat II is equipped with four propellers, allowing it to move in any direction. The device uses LiDAR, GPS and inertial sensors to help it navigate the terrain. Although the individual boat looks tiny, it is modular, which means that individual units can be assembled into larger boats.

MIT considered the initial version of the Roboatas a quarter of the device, with the Roboat II being semi-scale; they are slowly moving towards a full-scale version of the device that can carry four to six passengers. MIT notes that the current version of the boat moves autonomously through the city's canals for three hours, collecting data, and returning to where it sailed from.

In the future, the MIT team plansImprove Roboat's algorithms to make it more efficient for swimming in sharper currents and waves. They are also working to make the device identify objects faster and blend in with its surroundings. When the full version of Roboat will be released is still unknown.

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