Spot On - Emily Robertson
Having originally applied for and studied a year of Mechanical Design Engineering, I decided to change to PDE in the hope of a more rounded education in the process of making ideas a reality. I found that simply studying individual parts of a process or system did not motivate me to learn or to create. PDE has taught me new approaches to a variety of problems and has allowed me to learn about my own skills and interests. I love the flexibility it gives you and feel I now have a far greater understanding of how the world of design and production operates. I have a background in competitive racing, so my final year project allowed me to combine my passions for sailing and design into one.
Fair and competitive sail racing depends heavily on a race course which is set accurately and efficiently. At present this system relies on inflatable marks which are held in place using anchors, chains and lines which are heavy and very difficult to move, both onshore and on the water. This results in competitive events where racing is biased, sailors spend a long time on the water without racing and mark layers require time, training and a lot of extra equipment in order to get it right.
Spot On is a sailing race mark which eliminates the factors associated with the anchor and line system. Using a battery powered propeller and rotating drive shaft, smart dynamic positioning technology and radio transmission the mark can be controlled remotely via an app on the race committee vessel. A foldable visible section and the removable drive shaft mean the pod is easy to deploy and retrieve, store and manoeuvre both on and off the water.
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