The roboat autonomous boats to sail on the Amstel river, in Amsterdam.
The Amsterdam institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS institute), in a collaboration with researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), started the world’s first major program on autonomous floating vessels.
Carlo Ratti, professor at MIT and principal investigator in the roboat-program, said:
“Roboat is the world’s first large-scale research that explores and tests the rich set of possibilities for autonomous systems on water. Imagine a fleet of autonomous boats for the transportation of goods and people. But also think of dynamic and temporary floating infrastructure like on-demand bridges and stages, that can be assembled or disassembled in a matter of hours.”
Professor Arjan van Timmeren, AMS institute’s scientific director, said:
“Roboat offers enormous possibilities, as we’ll also be exploring environmental sensing. We could for instance do further research on underwater robots that can detect diseases at an early stage or use roboats to rid the canals from floating waste and find a more efficient way to handle the 12,000 bicycles that end up in the city’s canals each year.”
The city’s vice mayor Kajsa Ollongren, said:
“It is a fantastic opportunity for amsterdam. To have the world’s most prominent scientists work on solutions with autonomous boats in this way is unprecedented, and most fitting for a city where water and technology have been linked for ages.”