Let's Make Robots!

Robotic autonomous transoceanic ship :P

Hello, here i am again for another of my impossible to realize weird ideas :P

This one was generated after looking at the map of users in google maps. I thought: it would be super cool to have a robot that is able to go from one LMRoboter to another in different areas of the world. Excluding for obvious reason ground and air veicles, i tought about a robotic boat :P The sea is free of obstacles and doesn't require active work to float.

The idea is to build a smallish boat (ie a meter length or such), equip it with fancy gps and stuff, give it some kind of route, and let it free on the oceans :) It should automatically drive to destination, where a fellow would pick it up and rejoice of the succesful mission.

Of course to have the autonomy it should be equipped with some solar panels (or RTG is someone has a spare one at home :P)

If would be useful to have some kind of contact, such as satellite phone or GSM or anything, to have it communicate its position back and receive commands.

Ok, now the first problem i can see is that a small ship would not be able to go against  high waves and currents. Any solution ? :P

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I was considering how to make the hull. Some ideas:

  1. Make it from scratch: i don't think i have the skill to shape plywood or fiberglass or anything. too complex for me :)
  2. Buy a very cheap toy boat, trash everything inside and replace with our stuff: very cheap solution, but the chassis would probably be quite poor. Also, replacing everithing means making all the mechanical part (including sealing etc).
  3. Buy a serious model hull: not so cheap, but the hull would be great. Still most of the mechanical work on our shoulders.
  4. Buy a ready-to-run electric ship and keep all the stuff inside and add our logic and modules. Very expensive, possible problems with built in hardware (mismatching voltage, wrong current consumption etc). Saves all the mechanical work!
I'm for 2 or 3 :)

 

Yesterday as i was to an electronic store i saw some rc boats. One was kind of nice, the flat type, about 65 euros with motors, battery, controller and everything. It was about 50 cm long, perfect for a lagunar run :)

i'm convincing i might give it a try, maybe this spring when days would be longer :)

Jon Hyland has some interesting projects over at http://www.huv.com/ with some details of underwater bots he has built.

Uhm looks very interesting. there are also some ground (tracked) vehicles looking great.

there are some close pics of the motor and how it is connected.

Btw, too cool to se the palm pc inside the tube :)

If I did this I would make it like a message in a bottle. Use GPS or even just a compass to give it a general direction in which to go and put instructions with it for contacting me, getting a reward and perhaps also for setting a new destination. It's most likely to wash up on a beach somewhere away from its intended destination. Maybe include a cellphone that phones home with a GPS location when there is a signal available and it hasn't moved recently.
expnesive but a fun idea
Bottlecaching!
Bottlecaching, I like it! Forget the motors and everything else. Just put a couple of solar cells and a cellphone with global roaming and gps in a bottle and toss it in the ocean. It should eventually turn up within range of a cell tower and according to Google no one has had this idea and called it bottlecaching.