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Old 11-08-2008, 12:38   #1
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Autonomous seafaring vehicles

Harbor Wing AUSV can sail into the sunset all by itself

Autonomous seafaring vehicles may not be quite as common as unmanned land or air vehicles, but Harbor Wing Technologies looks to be doing its small part to change that, with it now apparently pretty far along in the development of its self-named Autonomous Unmanned Surface Vehicle (or AUSV). Among other things, it employs a specially-designed "WingSail" that can rotate a full 360 degrees to let the vessel maneuver efficiently upwind or downwind, and it uses a custom-made guidance system that can relay vital navigational and situational data to a "semi-portable" command station, which can apparently also be used to pilot the vessel in a pinch. Be sure to head on past the break for an interview with Harbor Wing's Ken Childress courtesy of Engineering TV, which also includes a glimpse of the current prototype in action.

Harbor Wing AUSV can sail into the sunset all by itself - Engadget
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Old 11-08-2008, 14:30   #2
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Unmanned...wow.

I would be very nervous about sending a boat off over the horizon by itself for which I am financially responsible if it causes any damage.

There are also lots of other questions that come to mind concerning the ability for it to abide by the Rules of the Road, repair itself and other questions.

Just so the article does not mislead anyone, unstayed wing sails are nothing new.

I think having the boat do all the work would take some of the fun out of sailing as well.

Without meaning to be too critical here, I think it is technology looking for a practical application. Very interesting stuff Scottie.
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Old 11-08-2008, 15:44   #3
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I wonder how long will it last out on the open water with no maintenance and no one to keep the salt off the critical equipment.
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Old 11-08-2008, 15:55   #4
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Military USVs have been around for some time. UK used them for mine clearance in the Gulf.

USA as experimented with a jet sky, but seems to prefer a 21 ft rib.

Israel uses a more conventional looking patrol boat.

Some off these are now armed with gatling guns.
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Old 11-08-2008, 21:59   #5
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It has benn in and around Pearl harbor for about two years now doing testing.
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