A research collaboration, recently started, between MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology from Cambridge) and AMS, (the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions), the both will seek to design and test the world’s first fleet of autonomous boats in the city of Amsterdam. This water based unit is termed as ‘A Roboat’. Each autonomous boat will be used for transporting goods and people and for creating temporary floating infrastructures such as self-assembling bridges and concert stages. Roboats can also monitor the city’s water using new environmental sensors that can provide vital insights on urban and human health.
The Team for this Research includes MIT Principal Investigator Carlo Ratti, Joining Ratti from MIT as co-principal investigators are Daniela Rus, professor of electrical engineering and computer science and director of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL); Andrew Whittle, the Edmund K. Turner Professor in Civil Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; and Dennis Frenchman, the Class of 1922 Professor of Urban Design and Planning and director of the DesignX program in the MIT School of Architecture and Planning.
At AMS, Van Timmeren and Stephan van Dijk, research program manager, will coordinate the involvement of another 12 groups of researchers from TU Delft and Wageningen UR. Along with the City of Amsterdam, Waternet, the public water utility of Amsterdam and surrounding areas, will participate in the research.
With 80 percent of global economic output generated around coasts, riverbanks, and deltas and 60 percent of the world population living in these areas, researchers anticipate that outcomes from the ROBOAT projects could become a reference for other urban areas around the world and a source of international entrepreneurial initiatives and start-ups in which autonomy enters the marine world.
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An autonomous self-driving fleet of Boat for Amsterdam Waterways Research