Faculty Advisor

Michalson, William R.

Faculty Advisor

Stafford, Kenneth A.


This project is a robotic sailboat that competes in the IRSC. The 2 meter fiberglass hull was constructed by the MQP team and WRC. It houses a servo actuated rudder, custom winch system, movable ballast system, keel, mast, and all the electronics. The boat uses NMEA 2000, utilizing a CAN bus for communication between custom motor controllers, sensors, debugging equipment, and the main processor. The boat has a WiFi network that allows for remote programming, control, and communications with a rigid wing sail developed by another MQP team. A Beaglebone-Black ARM processor runs the custom software inspired by ROS and written in C++. It manages all the CAN messages, instructs the motor drivers, interprets the sensors, runs control algorithms, and plans high level maneuvers.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2017


Robotics Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Advisor Department

Robotics Engineering