PILGRIMS VOYAGE - MAS's direction of travel is the reverse of the
Scout and Voyager autonomous Atlantic
attempts that took advantage of trade winds. The Mayflower will be
heading into prevailing winds and currents. If sail powered, she would need to tack. But powered by a
engine, with support from the deck mounted solar panels, there may be no need for
that - except, that we saw her struggling when out at sea. Energy from nature is used to power the onboard AI and satellite
communications. Many media reports inaccurately refer to wind power as a
feature of the MAS, but you can plainly see that there is no wind
turbine or wing-sail on this craft.
BBC NEWS 16 JUNE 2021 - AI DRIVEN ROBOT MAYFLOWER BEGINS ATLANTIC VOYAGE
A crewless ship designed to recreate the Mayflower's historic journey across the Atlantic 400 years ago has begun its ocean crossing.
The Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS) has set sail on a 3,500 mile (5,630km) journey from Plymouth in the UK to Massachusetts in the US.
The voyage was expected to take about three weeks, project leaders said.
It will also conduct experiments on its journey, collecting data on marine life and sampling for plastic waste.
The journey of the MAS, created by non-profit ocean research company ProMare and computing giant IBM, is part of the official Mayflower 400 commemorations.
It was created to show the development of technology in the centuries since the Pilgrim Fathers set sail for the New World, bosses said.
The 50ft (15m) long solar-powered trimaran is capable of speeds of up to 10 knots (20km/h) and is being navigated by on-board artificial intelligence (AI).
The AI is being fed information from six cameras and 50 sensors.
It sailed from Plymouth to the Isles of Scilly on Tuesday. It set off again on Wednesday and entered international waters, bosses said.
Plymouth's Mayflower 400 celebrations cancelled
Project director Brett Phaneuf said he was "incredibly nervous and I think I'm going to be completely tense for the next three weeks".
He said: "I know everybody in my team is feeling that same sort of knot in the pit of their stomach.
"No-one's done [this type of voyage] yet, but the weather is perfect for it."
The original Mayflower, a 100ft (30m) triple-masted wooden vessel with canvas sails and a top speed of three knots (6km/h), carried 102 passengers and a crew of about 30 from Plymouth to
Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
The 1620 crossing took more than two months.
The 2020 version is made of aluminium composite, with a back-up diesel generator to go with its solar-powered
People can track its progress on the MAS400 website.
EVENT CALENDAR 2021
MAS 400 is an
trimaran powered by a
engine, piloted by a solar powered artificially intelligent
system developed by IBM called 'AI Captain.'
BIT OF HISTORY
first solar boat to travel around the world was the PlanetSolar,
coming home on the 4th of May 2012. Computing power was not as advanced
as it is today, when PlanetSolar set off on 27th September 2010,
following the Sunshine Route, first shown in London at the 1994/95 Boat
Show. Then in January 2013 a patent specification for a COLREGs
compliant, unmanned autonomous navigation system was filed by a BMS
engineer ( now our IP) with the suggestion in 'Claims' for using a solar
powered trimaran (patent granted 12 June 2019) as a suitable hull
configuration. This patent also included wind energy harvesting as
originally advertised for the Mayflower 400.
The original wooden
30-meter Mayflower took 66 days to carry
Founding Fathers from the U.K. to what is now the U.S. The voyage would
have involved a lot of tacking,
because sailing ships cannot sail directly into the wind. But the new
boat should take two to three weeks (14-21 days) depending on how strong
the prevailing trade
winds are, and assuming no technical glitches or marine accidents -
the whole point of the COLREGs
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