What amazing unmanned small boat have you seen?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by sun, Mar 26, 2022.

  1. sun
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    sun Junior Member

    Well explained. Technology is used to assist work and life.
     
  2. sun
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    sun Junior Member

    We should not use autonomous vessel to kill person. Autonomous vessel can rescue drowning men.
     
  3. Will Gilmore
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    Will Gilmore Senior Member

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    Like a sea going St. Bernard.

    -Will
     
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  4. mitchgrunes
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    mitchgrunes Senior Member

    Autonomous vessels could also look for high bacterial levels (like red tide, or sewage overflows), that pose a threat to human health. Those of us who use small craft for fun, frequently find out about hazardous bacterial conditions after we have already boated in the area. Perhaps the same is true for fishermen (no gender implication intended). But I'm not sure if fixed (anchored) buoys (which may be less likely to be a hazard to navigation), or flying drones that look for spectrographic signatures, might be more cheaper or more practical.

    Trying to spread an enormous net of rescue boats that look for people who hypothetically might be in trouble over a large area sounds economically impractical, and would in fact pose a hazard to navigation. And for those who carry the transmitters, SARSAT already exists, though I admit that many of us don't carry them, because of the costs. A more practical device for many of us is a VHF marine radio, and flares, which many (but not all) people do carry. For those who take no precautions, it may be too expensive to help in a more effective manner than the US Coast Guard, etc., already does. Also, people who don't carry life jackets or dress for the weather are often impossible to rescue in time, regardless. Unless you have a really good idea I haven't thought of.

    Even if you knew, by tracking a radio signal, exactly where to deliver a life raft, it might be a lot faster to deliver it by drone than by autonomous boat.

    Now, if you want to look for the Loch Ness Monster... :) That's basically the same idea as looking for schools of fish.

    I can also imagine a diving platform in water too deep to anchor that uses autonomously maintained station keeping. That sounds so obvious that I bet it's been done, with large boats. It could be done with small craft too.

    I wonder if you could likewise keep a pseudo navigational buoy or lighthouse at one location in deep water the same way. Is there any reason to do that?

    Again, if you want to pick up a spy or assassin from an agreed upon point, maybe it would be safer to send an autonomous boat than to send a person. I bet they are already used (along with drones) to smuggle drugs, weapons, etc. Though that might bother the person who idealistically said autonomous boats shouldn't be used to kill people. Sorry, but a lot of the people with the time and resources to play with new ideas, have military, intelligence, and smuggling organizations behind them. It's always been that way.

    There are already autonomous or RC controlled vehicles that look for and perhaps set off mines. I wonder if autonomous or RC controlled boats exist for the same purpose. Probably.

    In cities with canals, autonomous boats could deliver goods much like drones can - but could take more weight.

    I haven't given a lot of thought to what autonomous submarines could do - aside from smuggling, which I'm sure is already done a lot. (Though manned subs might be stealthy enough to do the job.) Is there anything they could usefully look for? Unless - hmmm. There are deep water conditions under which submarines are probably very hard to find. Another sub, even a small one, might be able to do it.

    How about under water prospecting for mineral deposits?

    I don't know, but are underwater black smokers a sign of future volcanic eruptions?

    Or - could they look for underwater shocks and internal waves that presage a tidal wave? Though, I'm not sure if an anchored buoy could do the same thing better.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2022
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  5. mitchgrunes
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    mitchgrunes Senior Member

    I've got another idea. I wouldn't mention it, for obvious reasons, if it wasn't so obvious that I assume it's being worked on and considered already, by all the major players.

    The U.S. and her allies are in indirect conflict (and perhaps more quietly, direct conflict) with Russia and her allies, in the Ukraine. Like the Cold War conflicts of an earlier era, this could conceivably last for decades, though I could be wrong.

    The U.S. military and civilian economy are strongly dependent on the Internet, and perhaps other networks. It has been claimed there have already been Russian cyber attacks on at least one communication satellite, and there is a public expectation that Russia may severe the underwater transatlantic communications cables between North America and Europe. If they take out the cables and all or almost all of the communications satellites, they could cripple the U.S. and allied communications networks and their Internet economy. They could perhaps also take out GPS satellites. I assume the U.S. would retaliate and take out the communications and navigation links of Russia and its allies.

    Russia has very widely scattered populations centers, that I assume make substantial usage of satellite communications too. But it is possible the Russian government might welcome a blackout of communications links to Russia, for a number of reasons.

    A question for the U.S. and her allies is how to re-establish and maintain a network capability. One could send up more communications and navigation satellites - but they are probably very easy and obvious targets.

    One obvious possibility is to use a set of strings of radio transmitters on movable platforms, in the middle of the ocean. Use "closed beam" antenna signals (narrow angle beams, that are hard to detect unless you have a direct line-of-site view), to make them harder to find. This could be done by at least two ways: autonomous boats (mid-ocean depths are too high for anchors to the bottom), and autonomous drones. I not sure which makes more sense. I suspect the drones would be easier to find. In either case, it might make sense to make them moving targets, following secretly planned trajectories.

    Both the boats and drones would be fairly easy to find and destroy too, despite the nominally closed beams. But if they aren't too expensive, they can keep being created. The Internet is designed so that it can lose a few links, and remain functional, which is perfect for this kind of conflict. I suspect effective intercontinental transmission rates would still drop a lot, and intercontinental video streaming might be very limited or expensive, but perhaps this could be done.

    Autonomous boats and drones may also play a role in finding and destroying the communications boats and drones, and in fighting the autonomous boats and drones that do that.

    This is like spy vs spy stuff - except it involves autonomous boats and/or drones. The autonomous boats and/or drones will likely have rather short working lifetimes. It's not the fun innocent stuff many of you who design recreational boats think about. But I assume all the major players are thinking about it, and it may become a reality.

    Let's hope it doesn't spiral into World War III. People say the Cold War of the earlier era almost did so a number of times.

    But don't be surprised if it has an effect on maritime communication and navigation systems. Maybe it would be a good idea to learn to communicate with flags, lights, and smoke signals, and to learn stellar navigation.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2022
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  6. sun
    Joined: Sep 2018
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    sun Junior Member

  7. sun
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    sun Junior Member

    What is the more effective manner than the US Coast Guard?
     
  8. mitchgrunes
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    mitchgrunes Senior Member

    I didn't say there is one, at least not an affordable one. What I said was "For those who take no precautions, it may be too expensive to help in a more effective manner than the US Coast Guard, etc., already does."

    Then again, I've never needed or interacted with the coast guard. I can't authoritatively comment on exactly how effective they are.

    But it's obvious that if you don't take adequate precautions, neither they nor an affordable autonomous vessel network can be immediately there for you all the time.

    Are there weather and/or sea conditions in which the coast guard cannot safely go out, but an autonomous vessel, or perhaps more likely, an RC controlled vessel controlled by the coast guard, could? I suppose that is possible, though marine radio communications in severe storms may be unreliable, for several reasons.

    I used to do a lot of whitewater boating, where the participants rescue each other rather often, and practice it even more often. I would guess autonomous vessels, and even RC controlled vessels, would be nearly useless there. Situations in whitewater are too complex, and the required speed of rescue too fast. However, perhaps there are situations where an airborne drone might be able to set an anchor, for use by onsite rescuers, or deliver a rope to rescuees, when the throw is especially difficult. Many people practice rescuing each other a lot in sea kayaking. If they are in a group with the people who need rescuing, that will almost always be the best way.

    But a lot of people (including, BTW, recreational kayakers) today boat without training alone or with non-expert friends, and don't bother wearing life jackets or dressing for the weather, or taking other precautions. I suppose an RC controlled vessel could deliver a float, or warm clothing, or a bottle of water if the problem is dehydration. Though an RC controlled drone would be faster. I suppose you could have near-shore RC controlled vessels to do swimmer rescues, and use remote video monitoring instead of lifeguards on every beach - though sometimes lifeguards have to actively pull people out of the water and administer CPR. In short, to some extent they can perhaps help the ill prepared. But, until AIs are as good as people, that is asking too much of a truly autonomous vessel.

    Dogs can often be effective in situations like land rescue, including ski rescue, in part because they have good senses of smell, and people leave traces of their smell on the land and snow. Also, they are somewhat intelligent. But they and their machine equivalent would be a lot less useful on the water. Though, when someone has died boating, and they have come to shore, dog's sense of smell might be useful to help find the corpses.

    The one clear rescue situation I can think of that an RC vessel is useful for is when there are criminals on the water with guns. You could maybe save the lives of Coast Guard employees if you engage them remotely. But weapons use is way too dangerous and complex to use an autonomous vessel - you need RC control. And you need good trust that your RC control can't be jammed or pirated.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2022
  9. sun
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    sun Junior Member

    You are a knowledgeable professional, thank you very much. There are not many cases of armed rescue on water. If we only discuss the rescue of drowning people, even if the existing unmanned ships can be uncontrolled, it may not have a good effect, because I think the best way is to salvage the drowning people. The existing unmanned ships do not have the ability to salvage drowning people.
     
  10. mitchgrunes
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    mitchgrunes Senior Member

    I'm NOT a professional in any of those areas. I've just been involved recreationally. I was taught that responsible kayakers and canoeists should practice rescues, because rescues are so often needed. Just like many people feel it is a good idea to learn first aid. I was also involved with a recreational land search and rescue group, when I was younger.

    CPR usually fails (to save a life) on the land, except when performed by trained professionals, like EMTs. But when lifeguards do it to drowning victims, it usually works. So a water rescue craft that doesn't have people to do CPR is to some extent "missing the boat".

    I CAN picture a few uses in search and rescue for unmanned boats. E.g., when an aircraft goes down, you sometimes need to cover a lot of area to find the black box transmitter. I suppose you could blanket an area with unmanned boats to help find it. But because I haven't been in or worked with the USCG, I don't know their needs. I can imagine someone sending an unmanned vessel into disputed waters, rather than risking rescue personnel. And I can at least imagine that it might sometimes be dangerous for a manned boat to approach another boat to perform a rescue in high seas and high winds. In some of those conditions, it might also be dangerous to perform a rescue from the air.

    But search and rescue is often economically limited. The question is whether spending significant money on unmanned boats is the most cost effective use of resources.
     

  11. sun
    Joined: Sep 2018
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    sun Junior Member

    Search and rescue is often limited economically. This is because human life should be higher than economic interests, and all technologies serve mankind itself.
    Search and rescue is often limited economically. This is because human life should be higher than economic interests, and all technologies serve mankind itself.
     
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