Science

A robot-boat that sails alone fails in its first attempt to cross the Atlantic

The MAS 400 Mayflower robot boat, the first designed to cross the Atlantic Ocean 100% autonomously, failed last Sunday (20) on its first attempt to cross. Equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) and monitored remotely, the ship has experienced “some problems” and will have to return to its base, the port of Plymouth, England.

The boat, which was rescued in the middle of the ocean, left a week ago and the trip was expected to last at least three weeks. Designed by ProMare, it is part of a project that commemorates the 400th anniversary of the journey of the first English settlers to the United States aboard the Mayflower ship in 1620.

In addition to the celebration, the ship was also tasked with carrying out a series of experiments, collecting data on marine life and samples of plastic waste.

The robot-boat that sails alone fails in its first attempt to cross the Atlantic. Image: IBM

“It’s a little disappointing, but we’ll resume the crossing as soon as we identify where the problem has occurred on the boat and fix it,” said project co-director Brett Phaneuf, noting that the futuristic ship ” will return to sail as soon as possible. “

The setback with the boat, caused by a drastic reduction in speed, impresses those familiar with the history of the original Mayflower in depth. With 102 people and 30 crew on board, ship 1620 ran aground twice before reaching the American coast, also having to return to Plymouth for repairs.

Before the current technical problem, the departure of the MAS400 was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, even though it had no crew. The hope is that if the high-tech descendant of the Mayflower follows in his ancestor’s footsteps, the third crossbreeding attempt should be successful. After all, the first two setbacks have been overcome.

1624392371 937 A robot boat that sails alone fails in its first attempt

The robot-boat that sails alone fails in its first attempt to cross the Atlantic. Image: IBM

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The MAS 400 Mayflower boat is the epitome of technology. Of the trimaran type, with three hulls, it measures 15 meters in length and makes decisions on its own, based on analyzes made by its artificial intelligence (AI).

Initially last week, many specialists from all over the world followed its route, as the project indicates the future of maritime navigation. To learn more about the MAS 400 Mayflower, click here.

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