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CHIPS Articles: U.S. Navy hosts international student robotic submarine competition

U.S. Navy hosts international student robotic submarine competition
Media open house, Thursday, August 2, starting at 10 a.m., with experts on hand and exhibits of current U.S. military robotic technologies
By Patric Petrie - July 12, 2018
SAN DIEGO — More than 500 students making up 46 teams and representing eight countries will compete in the 21st International RoboSub Competition to be held August 1-5 at the U.S. Navy’s research pool on Point Loma.

Hosted by the Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific (SSC Pacific) in Point Loma, the competition challenges teams to design and build autonomous underwater vehicles capable of completing realistic missions.

The event is open to the public and free of charge, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., daily. Spectators can watch the teams prepare and launch their vehicles for the competition.

Demonstrations of an innovative underwater robotics program funded by the Office of Naval Research will take place August 2-5, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The SeaPerch Program highlights basic engineering and science concepts with an engaging marine engineering theme.

The site of the competition, SSC Pacific’s TRANSDEC pool, is a one-of-a-kind facility built in 1964 that simulates an ocean of water and provides ideal conditions for research. Signs near SSC Pacific (driving South on Catalina Boulevard toward Cabrillo National Monument) on Point Loma direct visitors to parking.

For more information about the 21st International RoboSub Competition, visit www.robonation.org. For information about SSC Pacific, visit www.spawar.navy.mil/pacific/

For more information, contact the SSC Pacific Public Affairs Office: Patric Petrie, 619-553-1369; arlene.petrie@navy.mil ; or Ed Budzyna, 619-553-2725; ed.budzyna@navy.mil

2018 RoboSub Competition FAST FACTS

Event name: 21st International RoboSub Competition, August 1–5; (Open to the public all weekend; the finals are on Sunday; 1 to 5 p.m.)

Major sponsors: Office of Naval Research (ONR) and RoboNation, Inc.

Host for 17th consecutive year (since 2002): Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific

Participants: More than 500 students making up 46 teams and representing eight countries are competing in the competition. The student-designed and -built autonomous robotic submarines complete a difficult series of visual- and acoustic-based tasks that simulate the work required of robotic subs in a range of underwater activity. This competition is geared toward students at the college level but is open to students of any age. The teams are required to design and build a vehicle from scratch, write a technical paper, make a presentation before a panel of judges, create a short video, and develop a website that documents their progress.

About RoboSub: The goal of the annual RoboSub competition is to advance the development of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) by challenging a new generation of engineers to perform realistic missions in an underwater environment. The event also serves to foster ties between young engineers and the organizations developing AUV technologies. The event is an important key to keeping young engineers excited about careers in science, technology, engineering, and math and has been very successful in recruiting students into the high-tech field of maritime robotics. This year’s competition includes 46 U.S. and international teams.

About the SeaPerch Demonstrations, August 2–5: SeaPerch is an innovative underwater robotics program that trains teachers to guide their students in building an underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV) in an in-school or out-of-school setting. Students build an ROV from a kit of low-cost, easily accessible parts, following a curriculum that teaches basic engineering and science concepts with a marine engineering theme. The SeaPerch Program is funded by the Office of Naval Research (ONR). The goal of this effort is to encourage the next generation of naval architects, marine engineers, naval engineers, and ocean engineers.

About TRANSDEC: The Transducer Evaluation Center (TRANSDEC) pool is filled with six million gallons of water; built in 1964; 300 feet x 200 feet x 38 feet deep; simulates vast underwater expanse. The pool’s design eliminates all extraneous man-made or natural biologic noises and enables precise control of surface and underwater conditions (not required for the competition).

Funding support: The U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR) provides primary funding for the annual RoboSub Competition. Industry sponsors include Autodesk, AUVSI San Diego Lindbergh, Blue Robotics, Fischer Connectors, General Atomics Aeronautical, MathWorks, Northrop Grumman, NVIDIA, PMS 408 EOD Crew, SEADRONE, Siemens, SolidWorks, SpaceX, and Teledyne Marine.

For more information about the 21st International RoboSub Competition, visit www.robonation.org. For information about SSC Pacific, visit www.spawar.navy.mil/pacific/

A live webcast of the competition finals can be viewed online at www.robonation.orgnon Sunday, August 5 from 1 to 5 p.m., PST.

Participants build their own robosub to compete in the annual RoboSub Competition.
Participants build their own robosub to compete in the annual RoboSub Competition.
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