Voilier Autonome Instrumenté pour Mesures Océanographiques de Surface

(Autonomous sailing boat with embedded instrumentation for ocean surface measurements)


Vaimos. Vaimos is an autonomous sailboat robot. Its goal is to collect measurements at the surface of the ocean.

ENSTA Bretagne (OSM) develops control algorithms and the software architecture.

IFREMER (LPO+RDT) builds the mechanics, the embedded instrumentation, the electronics, etc.


Videos: WebTV

Revue de presse WRSC 2013                                                                                            



A Angers pendant les journées démonstrateurs.

Au milieu de l'océan Atlantique (avec le Thalassa d'IFREMER).


Team. Involved in the Vaimos project:

IFREMER: Thierry Terre, Bertrand Forest, Olivier Ménage, Patrick Rousseaux, Sébastien Prigent, Fabienne Gaillard, Thomas Gorgues, Yves Auffret, Loic Dussud, Laurent Delauney, Michel Repecaud.

ENSTA-Bretagne: Benoit Clément, Yvon Gallou, Luc Jaulin, Fabrice Le Bars, Olivier Reynet, Jan Sliwka , Benoit Zerr.

Alias: To get information on the list:



Control. The robot follows a desired trajectory which is a sequence of lines. The robot has two modes. (i) the direct mode: the distance between the robot and its line corresponds to the GPS error (approx. 5 meters), (ii) the tack mode: the distance to the line is less than 100 meters. See a video with more explanations.




[1] Symposium Biarritz 2011, “Vulnerability of coastal ecosystems to global change and extreme events”. 18 to 21 October 2011. Voilier Autonome Instrumenté pour Mesures Océanographiques de Surface. pdf.

[2] L. Jaulin, F. Le Bars , B. Clément, Y. Gallou, O. Ménage, O. Reynet, J. Sliwka, B. Zerr (2012). Suivi de route pour un robot voilier, CIFA 2012, pp 695-702. pdf. slides..

[3] An innovative approach of the surface layer sampling. Journal des Sciences Halieutique et Aquatique, 4 :105—109, 2011. pdf.

[4] L. Jaulin and F. Le Bars (2012). An interval approach for stability analysis; Application to sailboat robotics. IEEE Transaction on Robotics, Volume 27, Issue 5, pdf.

[5] Poster (Portes ouvertes ENSTA-Bretagne). pdf.

[6] L. Jaulin and F. Le Bars (2012). A simple controller for line following of sailboats, In Proceedings of the 5th International Robotic Sailing Conference (Springer Eds.), Cardiff, England.  pdf. slides.

[7] F. Le Bars and L. Jaulin (2012). An experimental validation of a robust controller with the VAIMOS autonomous sailboat, In Proceedings of the 5th International Robotic Sailing Conference (Springer Eds.), Cardiff, England, pdf.



Experiments (fully autonomous)

[1] Brest: Saint Anne (Tuesday, september 22, 2011). Track.  Logfiles of the mission.

[2] Brest: Moulin Blanc (Tuesday, october 11, 2011). Two identical missions were asked: one the morning and one the afternoon. Track. The red lines correspond to the desired trajectory and the green curves correspond to the GPS tracks.

[3] Brest : Spiral (about 25 km). Track.  

[4] 100 miles between Brest and Douarnenez. More.

[5] Brest : Spiral (with the Keep Close Hauled strategy, June 28). Track.





Program C++ with QT creator and OpenGL (codes, exe and dll).

Dashbord we use for Vaimos.

Vector field to illustrate the controller.



Movie presenting the Dashboard. The same with youtube.

Movie explaining the control approach. The same with youtube.

Movie (youtube) presenting the state equations and the simulator.

Video of Vaimos and Thalassa in the middle of the Atlantic ocean

Vaimos in Angers, Lac de Maine (vidéo).




Thesis. on the saiboat robotics by Miguel Romero (specially interesting for the potential method and the state-of-the-art).

Microtransat site.

Site of the sailboat robot of l’Ecole Navale.





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