Experimental Studies of Autonomous Sailing With a Radio Controlled Sailboat

Augustin Morge, Virgile Pelle, Jian Wan, Luc Jaulin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Autonomous sailing has attracted many interests from both industry and academy due to its great potential in oceanography, research and education. Worldwide researchers have developed various kinds of unmanned sailboat platforms for their specific research purposes and applications. However, most of these autonomous sailing platforms are rather complex to build and to program. The aim of this study is to propose, to build, and to test a new compact sailboat platform using a unique combination of a 1-m class radio controlled model sailboat, a Raspberry Pi 4, a Navio2, and a Calypso ultrasonic solar-powered anemometer. The proposed new sailboat platform makes full use of the agility of the racing model boat with minimal mechanical adjustments as the system does not use electrical wires to connect with additional sensors and a mechanical anemometer. The software architecture of the proposed new sailboat platform is also simplified as it involves only Python programming for the Raspberry Pi 4. The experimental results have demonstrated the feasibility as well as the functionality of the proposed new sailboat platform to conduct autonomous sailing operations successfully and it could become one of the most accessible, generic and flexible autonomous sailing platforms for advanced research and education in robotics, autonomous systems, and artificial intelligence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134164-134171
JournalIEEE Access
Early online date26 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - 29 Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. For more information, see https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. Funding: This work was supported in part by the start-up grant of Aston University.


  • Sensors
  • Fluid flow measurement
  • Boats
  • Task analysis
  • Programming profession
  • Global Positioning System
  • Software architecture
  • Python
  • Autonomous sailing
  • Position keeping
  • Python Programming
  • Line following


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