Greg Holloway and Al Gray have been working on a proof of concept vehicle for a marine unmanned surface vessel that uses the Rasberry Pi called FishPi. The goal of the project is to “ultimately be able to cross the Atlantic unaided, and take scientific measurements while doing so.” From Greg:
Since FishPi’s inception in March this year the push has been toward the proof-of-concept vehicle (POCV). The POCV hardware is just about finished, and the software is still in its infancy, but we’re getting there. Last week we tested manual control of the POCV using the command and control software that’s being developed. To begin with we’re keeping it simple. There is just a single environmental sensor on the POCV along with a GPS, compass, and a webcam. Even though we won’t be taking the POCV to sea we’ll have the ability to receive telemetry from the POCV and send commands to the POCV. We’ll be using a RockBLOCK satellite messenger to test with. Ultimately we’ll be using them at sea, too. While the tinkering is happening with the POCV there’s also our Trans-Atlantic aspirations to consider and our desire to produce FishPi kits.
They’re just getting started, but it’s great to see more makers in the DIY ocean exploration world. It seems like the FishPi software might be useful for other autonomous surface vessels like Protei or Robotboat.