Menu
This autonomous boat is trying to cross an ocean using only solar power

This autonomous boat is trying to cross an ocean using only solar power

The craft will launch May 30th and try to reach Hawaii from California

The sun is a powerful source of energy. So powerful, in fact, that Damon McMillan is betting his boat can cross more than 2,000 miles of ocean using only its rays.

McMillan is the captain of Seacharger, which is on a mission to become the first unmanned, autonomous boat to cross an ocean using only solar power. It’s a project that McMillan and three of his friends have worked on for two and a half years, after being inspired by a robotic sailboat competition.

Constructing the boat took a lot of trial and error, McMillan says, and at times it seemed an impossible task.

“If I had started believing that I had to get to the end tomorrow, I never would have continued. So it’s always just one step at a time,” he said.

Judging by the intricate design, it’s no wonder the craft took over two years to build. It's powered by two ultra-thin, 100-watt solar panels and a brushless motor. Batteries store any surplus power, so Seacharger can travel for up to three days without needing more sunlight. A satellite modem, an Arduino-based autopilot system, and some homegrown software help the boat stay on course.

Seacharger Maker Faire Martyn Williams

The Seacharger on display at Maker Faire in San Mateo, California on May 20, 2016.

McMillan plans to launch the boat from Avila Beach, midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, on May 30, Memorial Day.

From there, Seacharger will travel southwest towards Hawaii, where McMillan hopes to retrieve it a month later.

You can track the boat’s progress online at www.seacharger.com.

Subscribe here for up-to-date channel news

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Featured

Slideshows

StorageCraft celebrates high achievers at its inaugural A/NZ Partner Awards

StorageCraft celebrates high achievers at its inaugural A/NZ Partner Awards

Revealed at a glitzy bash in Sydney at the Ivy Penthouse, the first StorageCraft Partner Awards locally saw the vendor honour its top-performing partners with ASI Solutions, SMBiT Pro, Webroot, ACA Pacific and Soft Solutions New Zealand taking home the top awards. Photos by Maria Stefina.

StorageCraft celebrates high achievers at its inaugural A/NZ Partner Awards
Kiwi resellers make a splash on Synnex and Lenovo RotoVegas road trip

Kiwi resellers make a splash on Synnex and Lenovo RotoVegas road trip

​Synnex and Lenovo hosted 18 resellers for an action-packed weekend adventure in RotoVegas, taking in white water rafting on the Kaituna River, as well as quad biking and dinner at Stratosfare​, overlooking Lake Rotorua at the top of Mount Ngongotaha​. Photos by Synnex.

Kiwi resellers make a splash on Synnex and Lenovo RotoVegas road trip
Show Comments