The purpose of this studio was to try and make a sailboat that would go against the wind. In this studio the larger problem involved was finding a way to program and implement a physical solution to the sailboat. The solution that we had to work with was making the boat, designing the control system and programming it. One mechanical servo and part of the programming controls the sail to get through all of the wind conditions that it comes across. The second servo adjusts the Rudder when the boat is going through the wind. The programming part of this process is a little bit difficult. Even though it may be difficult, it is one of the most important part of our project.
This studio has taught us that you may need to try out many different designs before one will actually succeed. Another thing that this studio has taught us is the scientific reasoning behind making the actual sailboat. We had to try out all of our different prototypes in the water to see what we had to change. Our group decided to make a Trimaran with one hull. Our big decision was if we wanted to make one or two hulls for the boat. The best decision that we made during this whole process was to plaster the fiber glass onto the hull of the boat. Throughout this process, we had to try out many different things that sometimes didn't work. This is our fifth and final boat design. Even though our boat didn’t end up working out exactly as we wanted it to, this experience was definitely worth it.
This studio's assignment was to create an autonomus sailboat that could act without the assistance of a person. With the increasing functions of robots in our world, creating a robotic sailboat seemed to be both provocative and innovative. Constructing and designing the boat hulls and sails seemed to be the simplest part of the project, but our group was quickly proven wrong by this. We ran into many obstacles such as keeping the boat water tight, making it have as little mass as possible and proportioning the weight of the sail and hulls evenly.
After doing research on the internet and talking to both Sean and Zoz, our group decided that a multi-hulled boat would be most beneficial. Beacause there would be more than one hull, the boat would have less resistance against choppy waters and have greater balance. Though our group had figured out what the body of the boat would look like, we were still unsure as to what the sail was going to look like. After consulting a member of the Olin college robotic boating team, he advised us to make an extremely tall sail, as tall as triple the length of the boat. We took his advice and finally created a final prototype of the whole boat after a lot of trial and error. The boat ended up being a huge success, but was extremely big-- too big for the given kitty pool. Despite this, our group still felt that this was a success.
In the Sailbot studio, we learned not only how to build a sailboat, but program it to move the way we want. The goal of this studio was to design, build and program an automated sailboat that would sail in varying conditions, including sailing against the wind. During the first week of our Sailbot studio, we spent most of our time researching different types of sailboats and building prototypes of sailboats to get an idea of the design and function of the boat. Based on this research and prototyping, we found that once testing various different boat models, the catamaran was the most stable. Once we found a boat design we liked, the catamaran sailboat, we started prototyping the second most important part; the sail. This was probably the most challenging part of the project because it was very hard to determine the size and material of the sail, and how to rotate it.
Throughout the process of building our boat, we ran across many challenges. One challenge was coming up with the form and position of the rudder. The rudder was very challenging because we needed to come up with a shape that easily cuts through the water. We also needed to find a way to attach and Servo motor to both the boat and the rudder, and have only the rudder move. Programing the servos was also a very difficult and tedious task. It took a lot of experimentation to find how to make the sail and rudder turn at the correct angle. Once we had finished the programing of the Servo motors, we tested our programming with the boat in the water. The wind plays a large role in the movement of the sailboat, pushing it and giving it speed. The sail and rudder, once programmed, turn the boat according to the wind to make it sail across the water. There is also a sensor above the water that picks up the image attached to the top of the sail and determines the boat’s location and wind condition. Based on this information, the Servo motors change the direction of the sail and the rudder movement. These parts of the boat make it stable and able to maneuver. Our group put a lot of effort into making our boat the best it could be, and we are very pleased with its outcome!
The objective of the project was to create a scaled sailboat that can navigate through the wind. The project originated from the differing robotic sailboat competitions throughout the area with hopes to create a boat strong enough to compete in such competition.
The studio taught us a lot about the configuration of different sailboats and the scientific reasoning behind the success of such boats. After the lessons informing us of the different kinds of sailboats, we modeled a catamaran boat using tin foil and tape. This was our first prototype of our boat. After testing it through the water, we identified the problems and altered our designs to ultimately find success. Our second prototype required us to use DELFTship to create a model of a hull for our boat. After finding the right shape and size we then used the laser printer to create our second prototype. This prototype consisted of cardboard cut hulls and platform with a garbage bag sail. We then altered our blueprints once again and created our final project out of carbon fiber molds.
The creation of the boat was not the only aspect of this studio, we then had to hook up the motor to arduino and program the boat to respond to the remote control guiding the boom and the rudder. We used a simple arduino board to program the motor to do the provided tasks. We also had to find an efficient way to connect the batteries and motor without the risk of electrifying our circuit and causing an unbalance in weight distribution of our boat.
After completing the final prototype of our boat, we came to the conclusion that the programing required to find the right angles in which the boat can successfully reach the end point while sailing through the wind. The rigors of our project were creating the fiberglass molds of our hulls as well as finding the right angles and stability needed to successfully sail into the wind, minimizing any chances of failure or capsizing. Overall despite any rigors along the way our project was successful and taught us many things regarding the structure and efficiency of a sailboat and the programing that came along with it.