I should rename this blog, “If you want a job done efficiently give it to a lazy person. You would be surprised how much effort they will put in to avoid working”.
Anyway, I hope somebody out their is finding this interesting…I have got as far as getting all the bits together and I have started looking at the software involved. I have stood on the shoulders of giants and created an NMEA database. My aim is now to create functions that populate this as well as using the sensors that generate this data, such as the GPS. For example I will generate rudder position data and add this to the database.The issue I am now finding is that the rudder control is not a simple correction loop. Too far to the right, turn left a bit.. This gets complicated.. There is this thing called a PID but that works for a more linear correction like motor speed. But then I found out about the microtransat and the world started looking a whole lot more interesting. A competition to sail an autonomous 4 metre boat across the Atlantic, the minitransat is 6.5 metres and that carries a person. But back to facilitating my laziness, a lot of the microtransat teams have released their software. This helps…. I hope.