Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Robot Sailing Team Preps For Canada-to-Dingle Transatlantic Challenge

6th February 2015
Robot Sailing Team Preps For Canada-to-Dingle Transatlantic Challenge

#Robots - Engineering students in Vancouver are hard at work prepping their challenger for the title of first boat to cross the Atlantic completely unmanned.

As reported on last October, the robotic sailboat team at the University of British Columbia put out a call for assistance from any marina along Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way willing to be their destination port for their attempt at the Microtransat Challenge.

And now they have a finalised route that will take them from St John's in Newfoundland to Dingle in Co Kerry – a journey of three weeks and 2,900 kilometres.

But as the Comox Valley Record reports, they've only got till August to get their 5.5m sailbot ship-shape.

That involves installing a hodge-podge of robo-tech driven by solar panels and a network of sensors and GPS receivers to keep the as-yet-unnamed vessel both on course and away from any obstacles that might arise - whether bad weather systems, fishing boats, shipping lanes or random debris.

"It's not some kind of lab where everything's tip-top shape," says Kristoffer Vik Hansen, co-captain of the UBC sailboat team, of the improvised nature of their pioneering project. "You're working with real nature; you're sailing on the ocean."

The Comox Valley Record has more on the story HERE.

Published in Offshore
MacDara Conroy

About The Author

MacDara Conroy

Email The Author

MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open. is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button
Who is Your Sailor Sailor of the Year 2019?
Total Votes:
First Vote:
Last Vote:

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
isora sidebutton

Featured Events 2020

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating