Voyager Sailing Drones

John Semmens reached out to us to share his Voyager Sailing Drones — a pair of low-cost autonomous ocean-going boats, powered by Teensy 4.1.

The drones are four and six feet in length respectively, constructed of fiberglass over a foam core, similar to a surfboard. The self-trimming sail is controlled via Bluetooth. An Ebyte 433MHz E32 LoRa module provides short-range telemetry and waypoint updates, while a u-blox SAM-M10Q GNSS antenna module provides positioning detail.

An Astronode S+ satellite module handles long-range comms. The Teensy’s onboard mSD card is used for datalogging and debugging after a mission is complete.

While solar charging was originally planned, underclocking the Teensy to 24MHz has allowed almost a full month of operation, making the need for additional charging redundant. Follow the project on its dedicated blog, and see it in action in the video below!