After a self-sailing boat aiming to sail from Newfoundland to Ireland was damaged and began drifting helplessly off course, the boat's crew has located the vessel.
- Mechanical failure sends UBC Sailbot off course, drifting south
- UBC Sailbot hoping to go where no robotic sailboat has gone before
The University of British Columbia Sailbot team that built Ada, a five-metre autonomous 'sailbot', said in a statement that their "hearts jumped" when they began receiving notifications again from the boat on Tuesday morning.
The team said Ada sustained significant damage and lost power during a storm on Aug. 30, but regained life when direct sunlight hit the boat's solar panels on Tuesday.
Using a satellite network, the team was then able to locate Ada somewhere about 500 km east of her last known location prior to the power failure.
The team now hopes to be able to retrieve the sailbot and do a full inspection to learn how to improve future boats, however its not yet clear how Ada will be retrieved.
Ada's voyage isn't being considered a failure by the UBC team, however, and they are not giving up on their goal to get an autonomous boat across the Atlantic.
"As a team, we have decided that we are going to build on what we learned with Ada, and build a new vessel of similar scope, an Ada 2.0, if you will," the team said in its statement.
"This boat will give us an opportunity to surpass what we achieved with Ada, and will continue UBC Sailbot's history of achievement and excellence."