Yamaha moves into sailing

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Yamaha Motor and Fujitsu have started IoT-based trials on a 470 Class sailboat to improve the performance of that sailing dinghy. The 470 Class is a double-handed monohull used for sailing competitions around the world, including national and world championships. It is considered the training boat for Olympic hopefuls.

Yamaha Motor Corp. said in a statement that the testing would start today and run through April 30 on Lake Hamana in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. Yamaha Motor is one of two companies licensed to build 470s in Japan.

“In this field trial, the companies will visualize information such as the dinghy’s inclination and speed, as well as the data on course, by attaching a number of sensors to various parts of the boat and analyzing the sensor data using Fujitsu’s cloud service,” said the statement. “Based on those results, they will specify areas that need adjustment to improve the dinghy’s performance, which will be useful in enhancing both the sailing performance of the dinghy and the sailing skills of the crew.”

Yamaha said the tests, called Project 470 Sailing Analysis, would have the goal of “optimal tuning” for 470 sailors.

Yamaha said it would also use the tests in its own boat development. It said it plans to invest in the 470 platform.

The companies will use a nine-axis sensor (including an accelerometer, a gyroscope, and a geomagnetic sensor) developed by Fujitsu to measure the orientation of the boat and GPS sensor to measure speed, position, and heading. Fujitsu will collect data for analysis, while sailing, in its cloud service, to visualize information such as the boat’s speed, course, and orientation. Yamaha will use a stress sensor to measure force applied to the rudder of the 470. Data on wind speed and direction at sea will also be measured.

“Yamaha Motor will use the insights and knowledge accumulated through this field trial to improve its boat development platform, contributing to further advancement in the marine market, beginning with investment in the 470 Class market,” said the statement. 

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