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Amsterdam trials self-driving electric 'roboats'


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Roboats: Amsterdam to trial self-driving electric boats | Netherlands | The Guardian

 

Amsterdam is to trial self-driving electric boats to carry out tasks such as collecting rubbish and transporting passengers.

The Dutch capital’s 60 miles of canals have been used for transport since long before cars and trucks powered by polluting internal combustion engines began clogging its narrow roads. Now a project called the Roboat aims to develop new ways of navigating the world’s waterways without a human hand at the wheel.

 

Stephan van Dijk, the director of innovation at the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions, which is collaborating with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said the technology was “very relevant in highly complex port operations, where you have a lot of vessels and a lot of ships and a lot of quays and piers. There you can really improve the safety with autonomous systems, but also make it more efficient and into a 24/7 operations approach.”

At a recent demonstration, one four-metre electric boat sailed past a full-size replica of the 18th-century three-mast trading ship Amsterdam, providing a snapshot of the city’s nautical past and its future.

Next, it has to learn to manoeuvre through traffic in Amsterdam’s canals, which are full of private boats and canal cruises for tourists.

 

The Roboats have orange propellers and four thrusters that are powered by an electric battery. They can go about 4mph and can run for 12-24 hours, depending on the battery type and cargo load.

They are steered remotely by a computer, which processes data from cameras and sensors that scan the areas around the vessel, detecting stationary and moving objects. The vessels are modular so they can be easily adapted for different purposes, carrying cargo or workers.

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11 hours ago, Tony Brooks said:

Seemed a good idea until the last paragraph - when the communication system fails or gets interference, what happens?

I have that concern with theses new autonomous buses that are now running on the roads with other traffic between theMadingley Road Park and Ride  and round The West Cambridge Campus of the University. Note the sharp edges on the body work. Even only doing 20mph still do a lot of damage to the human body. 

 

 

auto bus cambridge.jpg

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4 hours ago, nbfiresprite said:

I have that concern with theses new autonomous buses that are now running on the roads with other traffic between theMadingley Road Park and Ride  and round The West Cambridge Campus of the University. Note the sharp edges on the body work. Even only doing 20mph still do a lot of damage to the human body. 

 

 

I thought the edges would be deemed illegal, I am sure they would on the front of a car.

Edited by Tony Brooks
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3 hours ago, Tony Brooks said:

 

I thought the edges would be deemed illegal, I am sure they would on the front of a car.

Ahhhhhhh but they are lectric so can in no way be wrong. They dont pollute ever, not even during manufacture and are single handedly saving the planet :rolleyes:

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23 hours ago, Tony Brooks said:

Seemed a good idea until the last paragraph - when the communication system fails or gets interference, what happens?

 

I assume it floats around doing nothing very much until you send another boat (manned or otherwise) to tow it. Does sound considerably less of a risk with small, slow boats on urban canals than computer controlled road vehicles.

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There are two or three driver less self propelled barges and one dumb barge plus crewed tug engaged on this dredging contract on the Yser River in Belgium. The driver less barges  are equipped with numerous cameras. It is not clear whether they are fully automated or if there is a driver in a remote office as is the case with some locks and bridges.There is  a crewman on the boat, I believe officially as lookout, though he spends most of his time on his mobile phone as is the wont of youth, he does have one definite job which the robots cannot do (or the designer forgot) and that is to lower the radio mast when going under the fixed road bridge at Diksmuide. There is also one lock where he presumably does the ropes. He does not appear to have any obvious way that he could take control of the barge in emergency. Poor chap has no cabin to retreat to if the weather is bad.

As far as I remember they were not electric though.

 

 

 

image.jpeg.21c6957bd70f82af72ec3624a1ce5f02.jpeg

Edited by Phoenix_V
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14 hours ago, nbfiresprite said:

I have that concern with theses new autonomous buses that are now running on the roads with other traffic between theMadingley Road Park and Ride  and round The West Cambridge Campus of the University. Note the sharp edges on the body work. Even only doing 20mph still do a lot of damage to the human body. 

 

 

 

Looks no better from this angle

image.png.43b9ec0a81e0e064aff3b13e610d644a.png

 

How have they managed to get these registered for road use ?

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On 04/06/2021 at 17:57, MartynG said:

Looks no better from this angle

image.png.43b9ec0a81e0e064aff3b13e610d644a.png

 

How have they managed to get these registered for road use ?

Can't be any worse at using the road than the cyclists, and the design is so terrifying they'll be scared off the road altogether

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On 04/06/2021 at 17:57, MartynG said:

Looks no better from this angle

image.png.43b9ec0a81e0e064aff3b13e610d644a.png

 

How have they managed to get these registered for road use ?

 

Seems there is a bod onboard who's sole job is to hit a big red button if any thing goes wrong, by which time it will be too late.

 

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1 hour ago, nbfiresprite said:

 

Seems there is a bod onboard who's sole job is to hit a big red button if any thing goes wrong, by which time it will be too late.

 

I thought it was a robot = no driver    ?

 

Maybe the  sharp looking bits are made out of shock absorbing material ?

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Just now, MartynG said:

I thought it was a robot = no driver    ?

 

Maybe the  sharp looking bits are made out of shock absorbing material ?

Under current law a safely person is required to be onboard for it to be used on public roads. The sharp looking bits are made out of fibreglass still do a lot of damage to the human body due to newtonian physics.

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7 minutes ago, nbfiresprite said:

Under current law a safely person is required to be onboard for it to be used on public roads. The sharp looking bits are made out of fibreglass still do a lot of damage to the human body due to newtonian physics.

I guess its just an experiment designed by an academic with no understanding  of the real world.

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43 minutes ago, MartynG said:

I guess its just an experiment designed by an academic with no understanding  of the real world.

A Greater Cambridge Partnership project, built by company called  Aurrigo. Trial vechices for the now canceled Cambridge Metro (Plamers Folly) 

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