Since late 2011, Verrill Dana and MOTN, the marine technology industry association to which we belong, have been working cooperatively with the city of Gloucester, Massachusetts in that historic community’s on-going effort to diversify its centuries old fishing-centric economy. Gloucester is leveraging its wonderful,, unique combination of harbor infrastructure, highly skilled marine work force, convergence of resources and partnering with area academic and governmental institutions to grow and succeed in the new maritime economy. At last week’s 2nd Annual Maritime Summit, held in Gloucester, it was abundantly clear that a big part of Gloucester’s future will be linked to advances in marine technology generally, including ocean robotics in particular. A splendid example of Gloucester’s partnering in ocean robotics is the SailBot 2013 International Robotic Sailing Regatta to be co-hosted this spring by the City and Olin College of Engineering. For details on this exciting event, please see the article below by Ruth Levine of Olin.
Ruth Levine, Olin College of Engineering - The City of Gloucester and the Olin College of Engineering are co-hosting the SailBot 2013 International Robotic Sailing Regatta, a competition for college and high school teams, in Gloucester harbor from June 9-13. The goal is to create an unmanned sailboat that navigates through a variety of challenges with limited, if any, human control. Students are able to use this friendly competition between schools to apply their engineering knowledge in a multi-disciplinary task that requires mechanical, electrical, and software skill to deal with this highly variable environment.
Olin College got involved last year for the first time when a group of students started up an extracurricular club to participate. Olin professor Andrew Bennett advised the team, and they had a very successful showing in Vancouver, coming in second place overall. Olin College offered to help bring the event to the Massachusetts coast this year, and the City of Gloucester is an enthusiastic partner. Also partnering to run this event are Maritime Gloucester, Endicott College, Ocean Alliance, and the Society of Naval Architects. The organizers would welcome participation and support from interested individuals and businesses.
Sailbot is a great opportunity to see the high-level, innovative, and industry-changing work being done by undergraduate engineering students. The organizers are also reaching out to include high school teams and help them get started. (Gloucester High School is already working on their boat.) It is expected to be a larger event this year, with some of the top engineering students from the U.S. and Canada including teams from the U.S. Naval Academy, Iowa State University, and the University of British Columbia.
Anyone who would like to learn more about the event is encouraged to visit the website www.sailbot.org or contact Ruth Levine (firstname.lastname@example.org), Director of Business Development at Olin College, Andrew Bennett (Andrew.email@example.com), Associate Professor at Olin College, or Sarah Garcia (Sgarcia@gloucester-ma.gov) , Director of Harbor Planning & Development for the City of Gloucester.