Robo Boats Residential

Robo Boats

Saba Ghole
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In 2016, the majority of our travel happens on the ground with cars and trucks. As urban areas worldwide develop and densify, and congestion and traffic intensifies, cities are exploring other transportation possibilities - on the open waters! Whether it’s ferries, khlong boats, Haabjas, or tetrapak boats, water-based transport can become a key connector within a city’s larger transportation network. How can robotic boats be the future mode of transport? Can “roboboats” be used to do things that are only done on land today? How can these boats be designed to support varying needs and become the next wave of untapped transport? Sail your way through this studio by imagining futuristic visions of robotic boats and other water-based transport!

In this Studio, students will be constructing lightweight and agile remote-control (RC) models of electric robots that maneuver, turn and speed across the water! Students will learn about all the components that make a boat glide across the open waters: sail, mast, hull, decking, electronics, actuation (motors), rudder, power, communication (radio signals), sensing, and robotic intelligence! Students will ride the waves of radio frequency and modulation, thus understanding how transmitters and receivers communicate. Other topics of discussion include on-water maneuverability and sail control, how RC models compare to full-sized boats, and levels of robotic intelligence (automaton, remote control, teleoperation, full autonomy). Students will experience the hands-on joy of soldering, drilling, and building circuits before getting the boats ready for a final exhibition in a Robo Boat showdown!

Focus Skills/Subjects/Technologies:


  Physics (Electricity, Magnetism)




   Robotics (Arduino, Sensors, Actuators)

   Digital Fabrication (Laser-cutting, 3d Printing)

   3d Modeling


  • Enrolling students must be between the ages of 11 to 18 (middle and high school students)