FishPi: A solar-powered, Raspberry Pi controlled, autonomous ocean explorer

FishPi prototype
© FishPi

After over a year of work on a proof-of-concept vehicle, the FishPi project is developing a prototype of an autonomous ocean-going surface vehicle that is powered by the sun and controlled with a Raspberry Pi unit.

The FishPi project has been working on the design and creation of a small boat that can be propelled across the Atlantic Ocean using solar energy, taking pictures and gathering data during its journey.

FishPi proof of concept vehicle© FishPi

"We are developing a Marine Unmanned Surface Vessel, which will ultimately be able to cross the Atlantic unaided, and take scientific measurements while doing so. Ultimately we'd like to be able to provide FishPis to anyone who wants one. We aim to produce kit FishPis ranging from vessels able to run from batteries for a few hours, to full featured long mission solar vessels capable of months at sea." - FishPi

The prototype of the FishPi will most likely use a pair of Raspberry Pi units for all command and control features, such as data logging, navigation, control of other devices, and power management, and use an onboard solar panel to charge Li-ion battery packs that will drive a ducted propeller system. The integration of a ship-to-shore communication system that operates via satellite is hoped to be able to transmit images from the FishPi to the team, using the Amateur Radio Satellite Network.

The data-gathering and environmental monitoring capabilities of the FishPi may include temperature readings (air and sea), salinity and pH measurements, barometric monitoring, light levels, and more, with some of the data or images being relayed in real-time.

More details are available at this FishPi forum post: FishPi | One Year On.

Tags: Boats | Oceans | Technology


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