We are attempting the first unmanned autonomous boat crossing of the Atlantic Ocean as a way to showcase technological innovation, promote environmental stewardship, and to involve schools to inspire future generations. In Summer 2018 we will launch the vessel from L’Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland where it will begin its 5,000 km voyage to Ireland. Along the way, the aquatic robot will record oceanographic and environmental data to better help us understand our oceans.
Educational Outreach Program and Museum Exhibit
We are partnered with the Canadian Maritime Museums of BC and the Atlantic. Their museum exhibit on the project will be on display in Victoria and Halifax and will visit other museums across Canada. An educational curriculum program for students in Kindergarten to Grade 12 will be freely available, and will allow students to use the project as a valuable learning tool. There will be public lectures by team members at museums and learning institutes across Canada that will enable people to see the autonomous boat and learn more about the project. Several thousand students will also have the opportunity to submit a picture or letter to be carried across the ocean and if successful, returned with an official stamp of success.
If successful we’ll receive a Guinness World record and the boat will be the first autonomous vessel to cross the Atlantic Ocean. So far, there have been 26 attempts, but all have failed. Technical malfunctions, storms, sharks, fishing gear entanglement and collisions are just a few of the problems these vessels encountered. Extensive analysis of previous challenges has allowed us to create an innovative boat designed to deal with these hurdles. Our experience crossing oceans by human power combined with our experience designing and creating boats for Angus Rowboats, gives us unique insight into what is needed.
The Vikings were the first humans to cross the Atlantic Ocean using the most advanced maritime technology for their time. 1000 years later, we will be departing from Leif Ericson’s North American settlement, L’Anse aux Meadows, once again pushing the boundaries of available technology.
The boat will be powered by solar energy and engineered for maximize efficiency. A streamlined shape will increase speed, while an innovative self-righting structure will ensure it can travel through big storms. Other elements such as redundant systems, active radar transponder and heavy-duty components will help it deal with unexpected challenges, and several unique systems have been developed specifically for this quest.
Autonomous boats play a crucial role in science and industry, and long range vessels such as this one are particularly important for understanding our oceans as they offer a more affordable way to obtain scientific data compared to expensive crewed research ships, and are much more capable than ocean buoys with sensors. To demonstrate this capacity, oceanography and atmospheric data will be collected by the boat and live-relayed throughout the journey.
Our Team at Work
We have many talented people in our team that make this project possible. We are also putting together the sponsorship team that will allow us to develop the boat as well as deliver the student outreach program, public talks and cross-Canada tour.
Currently we are working on the prototype boat and for an overview of this boat please watch the video below.
If you would like to get involved in this project, either as an educational institution or a sponsor, please get in touch with us.