Nicola Tesla demonstrated a radio controlled boat about a century ago..
Flying drones now come in all shapes and sizes, from quadcopters to high altitude planes. On land drone cars and robots have also been build. We have an interest in water drones, autonomous ships, as this allows us to work on ecorestoration for the oceans in remote places.
A number of system already exist. The biggest differentiator is the intention and budget of the projects in question. DARPA and the Pentagon have been working on AI/autonomous devices for decades now. It would be shamefull if they had not already combined the available tech.
A home grown project that aims to cross the pacific is a bit more heroic. It also shows it can be done on a shoestring budget.
Another project similar to the above is
At the university of Delft students constructed a solar hydrofoil boat, which not only runs on solar but can travel at hydrofoil speeds and efficiency. Visibly carrying at least 70 kg at considerable speed.
We are building an autonomous boat just to see if we can and to create a cheap platform for oceanic applications. We think we need the folloing features :
- Radio contro
- A computer on board
- Ability to control servos