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MIT’s new autonomous boat ruled Amsterdam’s canals for 3 hours

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When it comes to autonomous transportation, people primarily talk about cars, buses, and lorries. For cities like Amsterdam, its waterways are an important method of moving people and cargo around. So, it’s another territory autonomous vehicle researchers are exploring as a futurist way of transport.

Recently, researchers MIT‘s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) successfully completed a trial of its autonomous half-sized (2-meters long) vessel, Roboat II. The ship completed a three-hour course of Amsterdam‘s canals and returned to the starting point with an error of just 0.17 meters. 

MIT started the 5-year long transportation project along with the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions with the first public demo held in October 2018. Roboat II is the second version of the boat in the project with improved capacity for freight.

The vessel weighs 50kgs and it’s equipped with four propellers LiDAR, GPS, and other internal sensors that allows it to move in any direction. It has an adjustable design to carry both cargo and people (capacity of two person).

The Roboat II has an updated algorithm for Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM), so the controller can assign it tasks such as passenger pickup. Once the task is assigned, the algorithm automatically charts its path based on conditions such as weather and traffic. 

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Because of its modular nature, a “leader” boat can work with a fleet of other autonomous boats to carry a large set of cargo around the city. Researchers are using a technique called “distributed control system” to manage communication between leader and follower boats.

“The development of an autonomous boat system capable of accurate mapping, robust control, and human transport is a crucial step towards having the system implemented in the full-scale Roboat. We also hope it will eventually be implemented in other boats in order to make them autonomous,” says Wei Wang, a senior postdoctoral associate from the Senseable City Lab and CSAIL.

As a next step, researchers are aiming to build a bigger (4-meter) version of the boat that can carry 4-6 passengers. In addition to this, the team wants to improve real-time object detection and identification, so that it can tackle more complex scenarios that might occur in city waterways. Plus, it wants to create adaptive controls so that the internal structure of the boat change depending on the object placed on it.

Published October 26, 2020 — 15:50 UTC

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Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

White Wireless Charge Lamp | $18 | Amazon | Clip coupon + code ABC88699
Black Wireless Charger Lamp | $20 | Amazon | Promo code ABC88699

When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you don’t want to forget to charge your phone— especially if your mobile device doubles as your alarm clock.

With this wireless charger lamp, you can make this crucial step of your nightly routine even easier by just setting your phone on the wireless charging pad and… well, that’s all there is to it!

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Other functions include multiple lighting modes as well as a sleep timer option for auto shut-off of the light after 30 or 60 minutes.

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You can snag the black version for $20 using the same code—no coupon though, sorry.

Don’t sleep on this deal! Who knows how long stock or the coupon code will last?

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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