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Self driving boat?


Dave_P
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My mooring is about 4.5 miles from my workplace (which is very close to the canal).  I'm often asked why I don't commute by boat and have to explain that it would take around 1.5 hours each way, so not really sensible.

So I got to thinking.  1.5 hours wouldn't be so bad if I could be getting ready for work at the same time - showering, eating breakfast etc.  Now google et.al. are bringing us driverless cars, so why not driverless boats?  With a bit of ingenuity it could even cast me off automatically (electro-magnet?)  Then I could get out of bed about half an hour before I arrive, get ready for work, eat a hot buttered pikelet and emerge from my boat just in time to moor up.

Am I a genius or what?

 

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22 minutes ago, rusty69 said:

Your plan is flawless............ Until you get to the first lock:)

Good point, but there are no locks on my commute.

So it looks like my plan is flawless!

 

Edited by Dave_P
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5 minutes ago, Rickent said:

A better plan would be to commute to your workplace monday morning, moor up then back to your home mooring on friday. Simples....

This idea would have merit, until you see the area where I work! :wacko:

Also, my home mooring has electric, water, elsan, bins, parking, laundry room, post room etc.

3 minutes ago, LadyG said:

What you nwwd is a slave, she gets up at 4.00am o iron your shirt and press yoursuit, then womanhauls you to workplace, Simples.

I had considered that.  Are you volunteering?

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6 minutes ago, Dave_P said:

Snap!  I'm not looking for a wife, I'm looking for a boat-slave.  Bed & board in return for making me breakfast and taking me to work and back.  

I'm not that desperate, ty

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Easy enough. There was a programme on the telly the other night, something about robot 'girlfriends' If robots can do that surely they must be able to steer a boat? After all what takes more skill? sex or steering a boat? Hmm, yeah, its steering a boat innit.

  • Haha 1
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7 minutes ago, Bee said:

Easy enough. There was a programme on the telly the other night, something about robot 'girlfriends' If robots can do that surely they must be able to steer a boat? After all what takes more skill? sex or steering a boat? Hmm, yeah, its steering a boat innit.

Depends how you do it.

9 minutes ago, LadyG said:

I'm not that desperate, ty

Dammit! I was hoping for a daily serving of Scottish square sausage and white pudding.

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One of the Fasham Clan used to have a RC controlled narrow boat  I met him one day bringing it up through the Tipton 3 he was working the bottom Lock & the boat was bringing its self along some 2/300 yards from the lock didn't see it again so have no idea if it was success/failure

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Technically I would imagine that self driving inland boats are no more of a challenge than self driving cars, perhaps a bit easier because of the lower speeds and more restricted choice of route. However the reason self driving cars are becoming a reality is that the market is so huge that the investment is worthwhile; there are a lot less inland boats than cars in the world, and once a boat goes out to sea a lot of big nasty extra variables come into the picture.

This doesn't mean that the world of boating is immune to automation; no doubt the commercial shipping world uses all sorts of technology to reduce the size of crew needed to operate those monster container ships, but I think they'll still have human officers in control for many years yet.

When (not if, I'm sure it's coming) self-driving cars become the norm and the technology from that develops further and becomes better understood, I think it's plausible that it could become economic to adapt it for inland boating. Probably not in my lifetime. To me a big part of the fun of boating is manual lock operation, but the self-driving narrow boat will not find much of a market if it's limited to one pound, so I think it would be preceded by automated locks, for which the technology is easier.

I would go so far as to say that in the long term, decades from now, if a robot crew could operate a working pair long hours with little or no need for a paid human to intervene, it might make canal carrying competitive again. Now there's a thought.

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I seem to recall a piece on one of those canal magazine program (waterways world or Locks & Quays, or something like that) about a chap who had a remote controlled boat to save climbing up and down lock ladders ..... but I read later that either his insurance company or CRT themselves banned use of it for some reason :glare:

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27 minutes ago, bizzard said:

My boat becomes self driving when I come out of the Three Horse Shoes pub. It does it far better on its own than me.

My shoes become self driving when I come out of the Two boats pub:)

Edited by rusty69
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