OREANDA-NEWS. A team of engineers from the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Urban Solutions and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology created an unmanned robot boat, the Roboat, which began its movement along Amsterdam's canals on October 28.

The Roboat is an all-electric boat with a battery the size of a small box that provides up to ten hours of autonomy. According to the developers, the boat can carry up to five people, deliver goods, and collect waste. It can also connect with other robot boats to form a range of autonomous platforms.

Roboat uses GPS to select a safe route from point A to point B by continuously scanning the environment to avoid collisions with bridges, piles and other vessels. It is equipped with LiDAR and several cameras to provide a 360° view. If a boat encounters an unknown object in its path, the algorithm marks it and at the end of the day the development team reviews the data collected and enters it into the software.

This project was launched to investigate how autonomous boats can improve the efficiency of transport systems in Amsterdam and other cities and improve the quality of life for residents.

In the era of machine learning and artificial intelligence systems, drones are being developed all over the world: cars, trucks, bicycles, scooters, trains. However, transport systems in some cities are not limited to land-based modes of transport; Amsterdam, for example, is famous for its canal system. For such cities, the Roboat, an unmanned boat, was created.

Although Roboat is the first robot boat, there are other examples of drone technology in water transport around the world. Earlier, the ProMare research group and IBM developed the Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS400), an unmanned ocean-going vessel designed to replicate the historic voyage of the Mayflower across the Atlantic - this time without passengers. It is a fully autonomous research vessel powered by artificial intelligence.