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Ventral Wing, Nano Carbon, Slot Caliper, ZO...What Comes Next?


JC McCavit
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@ AB, did they used to have something like that before. I read on another topic about a dial that would allow you to adjust your fin between passes. I believe there is a rule that prohibits making changes to the way your ski rides, during your set. I always thought something like that would be great. Does anyone know anything about the old system, or better yet pics?
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I don't mean to hijack the thread, but this is what I was thinking of. I found this on schnitzskis webpage: I still havent seen a picture of it.

 

THE HISTORY OF THE DYNAFOIL

 

The Dynafoil was next in wing evolution. For quite a few years the Dynafoil was a hit in the early 1980s. Early on in the wing development stage, every time I skied I would inevitably crawl back in the boat and make a wing adjustment. On windy days I ran more angle. On calm days, less. I daydreamed about a wing that I could adjust while in the water. These dreams evolved into a wing/fin system where the wing was connected to a shaft which ran up through the fin and then on through the top of the ski where a knob could be turned thereby pulling the front of the fin up, decreasing the angle and deceleration or pushing it down increasing the wing angle and deceleration. A marketer by the name of Carl Schuberth saw the Dynafoil potential and bankrolled the project

 

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AWSA rule 8.03d states that "devices affixed to the ski intended to control or adjust the skiing characteristics of the ski are allowed as long as they are fixed, in that they do not move or change during actual skiing."

 

Key words here are "during actual skiing". The Dynafoil is only adjustable when you're in the water between passes so technically it should be an acceptable device to use.

 

I recall back in about the same time period there was a wing that moved using a link to the rear binding essentially allowing more angle to be used on the wing when your heel or your rear foot was 'lifted' off the ski. I believe that is the type of device the rules are trying to prevent (rule 8.03d & 8.03b - "fixed foot binding"). If memory serves me right, I think I saw Carl Roberge using this movable wing for a while back then.

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there was a guy from Manitoba a 2-3 years ago that had a MC set up with a GPS based steering system he was working on...only driver input was around the turn island then it went down the lake all by itself, speed and steering..was in the boat when 'it' pulled a skier even...
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I very much trust the source I heard it from. I was surprised to hear how far along the development is, and isnt 'just a concept'... If I have heard about it, my guess is that there is a few people on here with a much better idea than me (maybe even seen/skied it), but would not be willing/able to tell.

 

The BIG problem in bringing such technology to market will getting the OEM's legal departments onside to agree to it. Heard about the guy who set the cruise control on his winnebago and went to make coffee?

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I am not sure about boats, buy my father-inlaw has auto steering on his farm equipment. He put markers on the ground at the edges of his tires, turned it on, it drove down the field, he turned around, turned it back on, and it came back between the markers. Probably not off by more than a couple inches. His was an after market add on that bolted onto his steering wheel. Looks like it could be adapted to anything with a steering wheel. He "mapped" all of his fields using the integrated GPS, no reason you couldnt "map" a ski course, just like with GPS cruise controls. The technology is alread available.
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Same technology interfaces with the gps aligned soil sample data such that the proper mix for each soil composition in the field receives just what it needs. A good friend of mine w/an ag engineering degree runs a company that does the sampling and creates the programs for farmers along w/doing very well on his own farm.

OK, slight hijack...agree w/Purdue skier the technology is there. I'll go out on a limb and say we see it in the first $100K promo slalom boat within the next 5 years. I'm probably full o baloney.

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In general, I agree that the technology is possible. Keep in mind though, that steering something that isn't being actively pulled all over the place is a far easier problem.

 

Optimal course driving requires a certain degree of anticipation -- as a human you just kind of know what is coming next from experience. A computer absolutely CAN be trained to do this, and it will happen. But it's not quite "easy."

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Than, the computer already makes minute changes to throttle for accommodate the varying pull from a skier (in all three events). Arguably PP and ZO aren't able to anticipate like a human driver but the computing cycles makes it react fast enough to make up for it. Granted steering, with all the 'slop' built into the mechanics may require more anticipation than "simple" throttle but farm field aren't all flat, hard surfaces and the GPS technology there adjusts for all the variables quite well.
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How would it compensate for any "sway" in the course? I suppose if it's a shallow lake, you (hopefully) could create a gps straight line, then build your course around that line.

 

In any event, I'd love to see it happen, but there would be a few bugs (at least in our course) that would exist in a deep water course.

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I don't know if anyone is actually doing this, but it just so happens that I work for a machine vision company.

 

Although not trivial, it's quite plausible to use a tiny digital camera to actually spot the buoys and adjust the path based on their location. Industrial assembly robots do this sort of thing all the time. (Go Cognex! Am I allowed to plug non-waterski-related companies on here? :) )

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@dandirch The first couple days was pretty sketchy but after that it was pretty good, 3 guys skied behind it including one pro and it was into 38 to see how it would react...pretty freaky sitting in there and watching the steering wheel go back and forth forth by itself...couple things he did say was that the gearing in the steering would need to be altered to help make the boat path better (guess i thad to be different for non human functions) and that the gps signals needed to be stronger, something to do with adding a couple domahickies on shore to improve the accuracy of the GPS...but this was all 3-4 years ago so technologies changed and improved...

 

he used an agricultural based system used for sprayers and seeders, Inlaws have it set up in their big cat for seeding, pretty cool get up...

 

not sure it's really that necessary for 98% of the ski world but maybe a actual projected visual line guide to follow might help some people...HUD in a ski boat!

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