What could make an awesome $35 bare-bones Linux system even more awesome? Sending it on an excellent, solar-powered trans-Atlantic journey, of course!
The FishPi project is one man's dream to use the Raspberry Pi microsystem to pilot a tiny craft across the ocean.
The idea is not just to redefine the term "budget cruise," but to prove that the inexpensive system can successfully guide and control a trans-oceanic vessel. The visionary behind the project, Greg Holloway, is currently working on a proof-of-concept vehicle for the project -- dubbed Fish Pi. Here's how he describes the plan on the project site:
The proof-of-concept Vehicle (POCV) will be battery powered, and only run the bare essentials needed to navigate the craft on a small body of water, a lake for example. The RPi will be tasked with running the electronic speed controller (ESC), which in turn manages the electric motor, taking GPS positioning information and combining that with waypoint and route information to calculate the rudder commands to navigate the POCV to predetermined locations, and take photographs and or video during its test missions.
The POCV is just the first step, of course. If all goes well, Holloway will continue to step up the project to a craft that can actually make it across the ocean, which is an ambition worthy of a Thor Heyerdahl for the Digital Age (Google him; he was a badass builder of crazy boats).
Here's hoping the dream comes to fruition. Heck, maybe one day Raspberry Pi will power a yacht big enough to carry Linus Torvalds and hundreds of his favorite journalists around the world.