UBC sailbot Ada was recovered off the coast of Florida by a U.S. research vessel. (ADEON photo)

UBC ‘sailbot’ found after 18 months at sea

The boat was en route to Ireland when a storm swept it towards Florida instead

A self-navigating”sailbot” set loose by UBC students last summer has been rescued off the coast of Florida by a U.S. research vessel.

The sailbot, dubbed “Ada” after the first computer scientist and Countess of Lovelace, Augusta Ada King-Noel, was launched off the Newfoundland coast in August 2016.

It was supposed to reach Ireland in what was hoped to be the first sailboat to cross the Atlantic without human help, but was damaged in a storm and the students lost track of it.

That’s until U.S. research vessel Neil Armstrong came upon Ada last week.

Jennifer Miksis-Olds, of the School of Marine Science & Ocean Engineering at the University of New Hampshire, was on board the ship conducting research, and writes about the lucky find in a blog post.

“Late this morning, the R/V Armstrong spotted a disabled autonomous surface vehicle far off the coast of Florida,” said the associate director of research at the University of New Hampshire.

The Neil Armstrong crew picked up the sailbot, strapped it to the vessel’s deck, and headed to Wood Hole, MA, where it is set to arrive on Dec. 15.

UBC said efforts are underway to bring the sailbot back to B.C.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID- 19: Ucluelet encourages visitors and residents to mask up

“Put your ego aside, this is what needs to be done,” said Ucluelet mayor Mayco Noel.

Frustration grows in Ucluelet as locked gate puts school garden in peril

“You walk by there and it’s just dead. Everything’s dry and yelling for water,” Liisa Nielsen said.

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

Ucluelet fire crew extinguishes residential blaze

Ucluelet’s fire chief is praising his crew for making short work of a residential blaze on Tuesday.

DFO reports unusually high whale mortalities in 2020

“It’s so important to have all these eyes and ears in the community reporting these deaths.”

B.C. doctors, dentists call on province for mandatory mask rule

Open letter says masks should be worn in indoor public spaces, public transportation or in crowds

Dwindling B.C. bamboo supply leaves Calgary Zoo biologists worried about pandas

Zoo has been trying to send pandas back to China since May

Facebook launches its new TikTok clone, Instagram Reels

Facebook has a long tradition of cloning competitive services

B.C. Appeal Court prevents Victoria woman from using the term ‘death midwife’ in her job

Pashta MaryMoon claimed she had been providing “death-care services” for more than 40 years

‘We all have anxieties’: B.C.’s top doctor addresses return-to-school fears amid COVID-19

Dr. Bonnie Henry promises school restart plan safe for B.C. kids

B.C. fish harvesters receive long-awaited details on pandemic benefits

Applications to the $470-million federal assistance programs will open Aug. 24

B.C. fish harvesters receive long-awaited details on pandemic benefits

Applications to the $470-million federal assistance programs will open Aug. 24

Most Read