After three years of hard work, the UBC Sailbot team is almost ready to send their boat across the Atlantic, in what will be the first ever trans-Atlantic journey by an autonomous sailboat. Named Ada, after Ada Lovelace, the five-metre vessel was completely designed and built by UBC students in Vancouver, where she underwent extensive testing before being shipped to Newfoundland. She is currently parked at the Royal Newfoundland Yacht Club, where the team is finishing the last bits of work of her before she sets out on her own for Ireland.
[The boat] makes all of its decisions on its own,” student Cody Smith told CBC News in Newfoundland, “There’s no control, there’s no [remote control], we don’t follow behind it. We just say, ‘You’re here and you need to go here,’ and she’ll do the rest. She’ll take care of all the sailing.”
Although the journey has been attempted a number of times by others, no one has ever succeeded. UBC’s Sailbot team hopes to be the first. They plan to launch her this week, and hope to see her in Ireland in five to six weeks.
Read the full story at CBC News Newfoundland and Labrador.
Find out more about Ada, and track her journey, at ubctransat.com.
See below photos of Ada and the UBC Sailbot team just before they set out for the east coast.