The Scout Transatlantic project has broken the world record for the furthest distance traveled by an autonomous unmanned boat, and it is just getting started. Read more on MAKE...
It has a rudder that steers. Their last attempt failed due to a servo that was not able to keep up with the requirements.
Yes, it seems to have decided to skip a whole slew of waypoints to make for a more direct route. One would have to guess a programming error somewhere.
I believe part of the off course steering was due to a storm that it headed through.
looks to me like there caught in the gulf stream a current that runs south to north on east coast of usa, it is very large and powerful, It is so strong it warms much of northern europe. They attempted to punch there way threw the gulf stream quickly to be free of it and then be on there way. This current can run 5 knots in places and averages over 60 miles wide, it also moves the most water in the fall of the year.
another approach would be to use the gulf steam to help them on there journey, kids put letters in bottles here in maine, a little north of the launch site, and they often turn up in Ireland and England. They also find lots of our lost lobster bouy's. The other advantage is the curviture of the earth means the shortest distance between 2 points is often not a straight line.
Almost looks to me as though their navigation routine has a 90 degree error at the moment. Completly concur on the addiction factor though.
It's a super interesting project. But I'm a little afraid of it's fate. At least I don't understand their navigation. The vessel is drifting north even though their next way point is almost east. Lack of motor power?
Also why are they aiming for a way point number 19, 1120 nautical miles (~2000km) away when they have many way points much closer? It's like their progress counter have skipped forward much faster than they have actually sailed.
Without knowing anything about ocean streams, i predict they will hit coast in northern Canada unless things start to improve for the team.
But following the journey here is super addictive: http://www.gotransat.com/tracking/