Mooring a boat is one of the most difficult tasks to perform in the water and requires a lot of navigation skills.
We are simplifying this task with technology and state of the art sensors.
Docking a boat is a challenging task due to the multiple variables that have to be taken into consideration: the movements of other boats, wind direction, sea current, among others. Furthermore, a lot of precision is required as docking spots are usually very narrow.
The use of technology to help pilots dock is a subject of a research study in the most prestigious universities and innovative companies. A precise and accurate additional sensor is required to assist the docking action. And to comply with these specifications, a LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) was selected.
The conceptual objective is to detect a set of reference points in the docking spot and measure the distance between them and the boat so that the system can suggest the optimal route for a secure docking.
The solution starts with mounting the LiDar sensor on top of the boat in order to have a panoramic view of the environment around.
The sensor is then used to acquire point clouds of the environment which are processed to identify the reference points in the docking spots.
The measures to the references will tell the exact distance that the boat is from the desired docking position.
Having this data aligned with the usual boat sensors, the vessel can be controlled by the system, minimize that distance in a secure and failsafe way to the reference points. In other words, allowing an autonomous docking.
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