A 1-meter autonomous sailboat   

Whiff is Albemarle High School’s 2013 1-meter entry into the Sailbot International Robotic Sailing Regatta. After sailing to first place in every autonomous event, Whiff won first place in her 1-meter boat class.

Entirely custom built by the team (Eric Hahn, Elizabeth Hillstrom, Sims Gautam, Ben Merrel, and Thomas Teisberg), Whiff also won the Innovation Award for her six segment 3D-printed hull. Her control system was built around an Arduino Mega 2560 microcontroller and used an integrated GPS, wind velocity, and compass sensor to accurately sail between GPS waypoints.

The Sailbot Competition

The 2013 Sailbot International Robotic Sailing Regatta consisted of 3 autonomous events, a teleoperated fleet race, and a scored presentation. The three autonomous events are the Navigation, Station Keeping, and Long Distance.

In the Navigation Test, boats were required to round a buoy and return between to as close to the starting position as possible. In the Station Keeping Challenge, boats were required to remain within a 40 x 40 meter box for a set amount of time before leaving the box as quickly as possible. The Long Distance race challenged boats to sail several loops around a course. Whiff completed all three of these challenges fully autonomously (without any input from the team during the trial), winning first place in all three challenges.


Whiff sailing into the sunset
Whiff in the water. Photo by Eric Hahn
Sailing in Gloucester, MA. Photo by Eric Hahn