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CHIPS Articles: RoboSub 2018 kicks off 21st year of unmanned, underwater robotics competition

RoboSub 2018 kicks off 21st year of unmanned, underwater robotics competition
By Patric Petrie, SSC Pacific lead staff writer - July 31, 2018
A swarm of international robotics and engineering students is massing at Space and Naval Warfare System Center Pacific’s (SSC Pacific) Transducer Evaluation Center pool to advance their knowledge and experience with autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) during the 21st Annual International RoboSub Competition, Aug. 1-5, in San Diego, California.

The competition, sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and RoboNation Inc., features student-designed and -built vehicles navigating their way through SSC Pacific’s acoustically perfect research pool while completing a difficult series of visual- and acoustic-based tasks.

More than 500 students (47 college and high school teams from 10 countries) will compete 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.

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 tremendously successful in recruiting students into the high-tech field of maritime robotics.

SeaPerch, a hands-on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) exhibit, an innovative underwater robotics program that trains teachers to teach their students how to build an underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV) in an in-school or out-of-school setting will be demonstrated onsite from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 2-5.

The SeaPerch Program highlights basic engineering and science concepts with an engaging marine engineering theme.

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.

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 permits precise control of surface and underwater conditions (not required for the competition).

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.

Live coverage of this event will be featured on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. A live webcast of the competition finals can be viewed online at www.RoboSub.org on Sunday, Aug. 5 from 1 to 5 p.m., PST.

Social Media
• Facebook: RoboNation - AUVSI Foundation
• Instagram: @robonation, #RoboSub, #RoboNation
• LinkedIn: RoboNation | AUVSI Foundation
• Twitter: RoboNation | AUVSI Foundation, #RoboSub, #RoboNation
• YouTube: RoboNation Channel
• Flickr: RoboNation
• Seenit: Seenit Capture App, Code: robosub2018

2018 Participating Teams (47 Teams, 10 Countries)

Brazil
• Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ)

Canada
• École de Technologie Supérieure
• McGill University
• University of Alberta
• University of British Columbia
• University of Victoria

China
• Harbin Engineering University
• Northwestern Polytechnical University

India
• Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay

Japan
• Kyushu Institute of Technology

Poland
• Wroclaw University of Science and Technology

Russia
• Far Eastern Federal University / Institute for Marine Technology Problems
• Maritime State University (named after Admiral G.I. Nevelskoy) & The Center for Robotics Development

Singapore
• National University of Singapore

Thailand
• Kasetsart University

USA
• Amador Valley High School
• Beaver Country Day School
• California Institute of Technology
• California State University, Fullerton
• California State University Los Angeles
• Cornell University
• Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
• Georgia Institute of Technology
• Gonzaga University
• Kennesaw State University
• Montana State University
• North Carolina State University
• North Dakota State University
• Oregon Institute of Technology
• Prairie View A&M
• Project Radian
• San Diego City College
• San Diego Robotics 101
• San Diego State University
• Texas A&M University
• The Ohio State University
• University of Arizona
• University of California Riverside
• University of Central Florida
• University of Colorado Boulder
• University of Florida
• University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
• University of Maryland, Baltimore County
• University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez
• University of Southern California
• Utah State University
• Washington State University

About RoboSub and RoboNation

• RoboSub is an international competition designed to advance the development of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) and develop relationships between young engineers and the organizations developing and using AUV technologies.

• Launched in 1997, RoboSub is celebrating 21 Years.

• RoboSub Student Eligibility: Full-time Middle School, High School, Undergraduate and Graduate students.

• Hands-on STEM exhibit open to the public; includes SeaPerch and SeaGlide demonstrations

• Competition includes participating teams from the U.S., Canada, China, India, Japan, Poland, Russia and Thailand.

• Student teams are competing for $20,000 USD in prizes.

• Signature sponsor is Northrup Grumman.

RoboSub Mission
The RoboSub Competition is designed to encourage interest in the field of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) by challenging a new generation of engineers to perform complex missions in an underwater environment. This event also serves to develop relationships between young engineers and the organizations developing and using AUV technologies.

About RoboNation
RoboNation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide a pathway of hands-on educational experiences that empower students to find innovative solutions to global challenges. We envision a world where technology unites people to learn, share and create. (www.robonation.org)

Robots being tested during last year’s Annual International RoboSub Competition. SSC Pacific photo.
Robots being tested during last year’s Annual International RoboSub Competition. SSC Pacific photo.

Robots being tested during last year’s Annual International RoboSub Competition. SSC Pacific photo.
Robots being tested during last year’s Annual International RoboSub Competition. SSC Pacific photo.

Robots being tested during last year’s Annual International RoboSub Competition. SSC Pacific photo.
Robots being tested during last year’s Annual International RoboSub Competition. SSC Pacific photo.

The Space and Naval Warfare System Center Pacific’s (SSC Pacific) Transducer Evaluation Center pool
The Space and Naval Warfare System Center Pacific’s (SSC Pacific) Transducer Evaluation Center pool
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