Valuable Lessons on Autonomous Boats

Valuable Lessons on Autonomous Boats

Testing is crucial.  These are my notes from things I learned on today’s autonomous boat tests.

  1. Do not program  GPS coordinates at 5am!  This is critical.  The boat went out to the middle of the lake and stopped.  It took me several moments to realize it did exactly what I asked it to do.  I failed to enter in return coordinates.
  2. The shoreline is dynamic.  Do not trust Google Maps, even in satellite view, when getting GPS values close to shore.  Your boat may run aground.  Again, doing exactly what you told it to do.
  3. My remote could reach across the lake.  Thank goodness I programmed that feature or all would be lost.
  4. I increased the throttle speed slightly(2 degrees) and observed the boat is overcompensating on turns.  Will need to adjust turn rates down for new speed.
  5. At today’s speed(+2 over minimum), it went 1/4 mile and used 20% of the battery.
  6. Idea: a script to validate my GPS points in the Arduino sketch.

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