What We Do

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The UBC SailBot is a student team devoted to designing and manufacturing robotic sailboats. UBC SailBot has a rich history and tradition since its founding in 2002. Students have had the opportunity to become capable engineers with refined skills through the development and manufacturing of highly competitive marine vessels. It is unquestionable, therefore, that their learning in the Faculty of Applied Science and their UBC experience were greatly supplemented by their participation in SailBot and the International Robotic Sailing Regatta (IRSC).

Thunderbird 2013 robotic sailboat sailing in Gloucester, MA, June 2013.

Greg and Adrian launching the Thunderbird 2012 robotic sailboat in the summer of 2012.

Greg and Adrian launching the Thunderbird 2012 robotic sailboat in the summer of 2012.

Our victories in Maryland in 2006, Vancouver in 2012, and Massachusetts in June 2013 have made us the leading standard for engineering teams at UBC and in the IRSC. After the perfect score we achieved in the competition this year, we now look to enter ourselves into the history books as the first team to cross the Atlantic Ocean sailing autonomously. This attempt and our recent track record haven’t gone unnoticed, and industry leaders, distinctive faculty members and fellow students are genuinely supportive of the project and eager to take part in our efforts.

Yasmeen Akbari, Josh Andrews, and support boat driver Steve after completed the long-distance race in the 2013 IRSR.

Jian Lik Ng and Robert Gage busy making the Thunderbird 2013 a reality.

Jian Lik Ng and Robert Gage busy making the Thunderbird 2013 a reality.

Additionally, UBC SailBot is one of the prime supporters of the new Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering Masters Program in the Mechanical Engineering department. Naturally, the students that take part in SailBot often express interest in Naval Architecture, and we offer them with a first point-of-contact to industry research, software, research and companies. We intend to continue the strong bond with the program, by allowing team-members to develop leading problem-solving skills and creative design thinking in the marine industry.

We intend to keep taking the robotic sailing to the next level…. every year.

Tobias Kreykenbohm is preparing the Thunderbird 2013 ready for testing in summer 2013.

More information

Development of the UBC Sailbot Team -> We call it “The Book”. This is an amazing resource detailing the whole development of our 2010-2011 season