Autonomous boats & an Oregon E-boat Race

Portland is ideally positioned for developing Autonomous Boats and floating platforms. They can be used for river surveys, surveillance, data gathering and other missions.

Oregon has drone testing airports, InSitu, drone electronics like FLIR systems, Oregon Iron Works/Vigor, LandRover autonomous Lab, Daimler, NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL), the Ocean Observatory off the Oregon Coast and the Cyberinfrastructure. Oregon State University is responsible for all un-cabled instrument data on the Pacific coast. These organizations know how to fund research projects.

Autonomous Boats Will Be On the Market Sooner Than Self-Driving Cars. They’re easier to test and faster to become profitable.


Portland has the people. Hayden Island has the water.

Here are some companies developing autonomous boats

(1) ASV Global

(2) Robotics and Autonomous Systems Group

(3) The Solar Voyager is a low-slung single-hulled boat with a roof covered edge to edge in solar panels. The autonomous marine vessel is currently sailing across the Atlantic Ocean. Autonomous. Solar-powered.

(4) Riverwatch

(5) Autonomous Marine Systems (Boston)

(6) Buffalo Automation (Buffalo)

(7) Sea Machines (Boston)

(8) Sub-Sea Tech (France)

(9) Wave Adaptive Modular Vessel (WAM-V),

(10) Automation Packages

(11) Bluebird Electric (UK)

(12) Ocean Alpha

(13) Saildrone (Alameda)

(14) Underwater Robots at Oregon State University
OSU manages a fleet of Slocum gliders manufactured by Teledyne Webb Research. Liquid Robotics Wave Gliders harvest energy from ocean waves for propulsion.

The Solar World Challenge is a solar electric car race that starts in Darwin in North Australia and finishes in Adelaide in South Australia – 3000kms (1,864 miles). It takes about 5 days.

The Monaco Yacht Club started an electric boat race and has an annual competition. There are 200 participants and all are invited to discuss their knowledge and projects on Open Source at the end of each day.

An Oregon-based Solar World Boat Challenge might start from Astoria and finish at the Portland Seawall (100 miles) – or perhaps 124 miles (200K) total. It could involve a slalom course and 2 heats in 2-3 days. A national event. Global, really.

Monaco Solar & Electric Boat Challenge 2017

ROCFP Sneek Solar Team

Dutch Solar Challenge 2016 Netherland

Dreamteam Solar Boat Team

Solar Electric Pontoon Boat Walkthrough

Electric Ferry

SOLAR SPLASH is the World Championship of intercollegiate Solar/Electric boating. Technical Inspections are done on the first day, and the remainder of the time is occupied by five on-the-water competitive events.