Students Launch Educational Unmanned Sailboat

Photos courtesy Endicott College

A 5’ unmanned sailboat designed and built by Gloucester Innovation and students at Endicott College was launched early this week out of Point Judith, RI, according to Endicott’s Director of Public Relations & Digital Communications, Erin Hatch.

Named Ginger Judge after a college benefactor and alum, the tiny boat is categorized as an “educational drifter,” states a press release posted on the college’s website earlier this month. Drifters have made it as far as the Arctic, Africa, Europe and South America.

The boat was housed in the Makerspace in Endicott College’s Ginger Judge Science Center prior to being launched, the press release states, where it was outfitted with an Arduino-based data acquisition system that collects water temperature, water pH, water oxygen content and a simple Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) to provide a quick determination of sea state. The data is transmitted to a satellite network every two hours.

A fishing boat carried the drifter into deeper waters from Point Judith on Saturday Feb 18, Hatch explained in an email to New England Boating. It took a few days for the college to confirm when Ginger actually hit the water herself. “It looks like she was launched from the boat on Tuesday, according to the GPS data,” Hatch wrote.

Learn more about the unmanned educational sailboat that was launched this week from Point Judith.

To track Ginger’s progress, click here and use the ID number 172400711.