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JANUARY 2021 I PCB007 MAGAZINE 101 in Amsterdam and is considered to be "full scale," is 4 me- ters long and aims to carry anywhere from four to six pas- sengers. "The development of an autonomous boat system ca- pable of accurate mapping, robust control, and human transport is a crucial step towards having the system im- plemented in the full-scale Roboat," says senior postdoc Wei Wang, lead author on a new paper about Roboat II. "We also hope it will eventually be implemented in other boats in order to make them autonomous." (MIT News – Robotics by Rachel Gordon) In an update to a five-year project from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and the Senseable City Lab, researchers have been develop- ing the world's first fleet of autonomous boats for the City of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and have recently added a new, larger vessel to the group: "Roboat II." Now sitting at 2 meters long, the new robotic boat is capable of carrying passengers. "Roboat II navigates autonomously using algorithms similar to those used by self-driving cars, but adapted for water," says MIT Professor Daniela Rus. "We're devel- oping fleets of Roboats that can deliver people and goods, and connect with other Roboats to form a range of autonomous platforms." Self-driving boats have been able to trans- port small items for years, but adding human passengers has felt somewhat intangible due to the current size of the vessels. Roboat II is the "half-scale" boat in the growing body of work, and joins the previously developed quar- ter-scale Roboat, which is 1 meter long. The third installment, which is under construction Autonomous Boats Could Be Your Next Ride First and foremost, if undercut is minimized, there is less opportunity for overhang (Figure 3). In this case, the undercut is somewhat ex- cessive. We can see how the etching solution affects the copper while leaving the tin plating intact. The strip of tin that is left floating at the edge of the feature represents the etching fac- tor. The etching factor is the difference of di- mension between the film and the final width of the features. In a future column, we will delve further into the interrelationship of final etching, electro- plating, surface preparation, and imaging. PCB007 Michael Carano is VP of technology and business development for RBP Chemical Technology. To read past columns or contact Carano, click here. remove in the Z-axis, the greater the potential for undercut. As the plated copper increases or if the foils used are more than one-ounce foils, undercut increases. All the process engi- neer can do is maintain tighter controls on the operational and chemical parameters. Figure 3: Outer layer after etching. Note the excessive overhang.

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