Earlier this month, Endicott was part of The International Robotic Sailing Competition, or SailBot 2013, an innovative event held annually in Gloucester that brings teams together in a test of mechanical, electrical, and software skills. The goal is to create an unmanned sailboat that navigates through a variety of challenges with limited, if any, human control.
Endicott College was a sponsor of the event, hosting the teams with on-campus accommodations, and also competed with our own sailboat, the C Gull.
Learning to create a robotic sailboat started in late January, with 11 computer science students in a special course. The core team members returned to campus after graduation and continued working on the boat up to and during the competition. The competition include events in navigation, two fleet races, station keeping, a long-distance race of 10 km, and a presentation on the boat itself.
The Endicott team’s boat placed 3rd in Fleet Race I and 1st in Fleet Race II (coming from behind), and with their combined times, placed 1st overall in the 1-meter fleet race, tying with Tufts University and Community Boating, Inc. of Boston. They also placed 3rd in the long distance race, completing one leg of a 10 km race that had 8 waypoints. The 2nd and 1st place boats completed 3 and 5 legs respectively.
There were 9 boats in the 1-meter class, and Endicott finished 5th overall. The Endicott team also won the budget award for coming in at under $500, due in large part from the generous donation of the boat itself by Thomas Johnson. The award included MapleSim 6.1 and Maple 17 from Maplesoft, a sponsor of the race, which is mathematical and modeling software, that will be installed on one of the computers in the Computer Science Center in the new Life Sciences and Business Center.
The core team members were:
- Shayne Lockard, Graduated (Captain)
- Brenna Clark, Junior
- Sam Creighton, Manchester Essex High School
- Michael Fortin, Junior
- Tim Lusardi, Senior
- Jeff Street, Senior
- Jimmy Swanbeck, Sophomore
A very special thanks to Dr. Michael Ocean, the faculty mentor and coach, who spent tireless hours teaching and helping the team out.
Also thanks to the following:
- Rich Weismann – Endicott liason to Gloucester for the SailBot event
- Eileen Geyer – Events and Conferencing for the on-campus accommodations
- Sarah Creighton – General advice and for helping to get Sam involved in the robotics and sailing logic