Winners Announced from the 21st International RoboSub Competition
By Patric Petrie, lead staff writer, SSC Pacific
Nestled on a cliff side of Point Loma overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the Navy’s landmark Transducer Evaluation Center (TRANSDEC) pool is filled with six million gallons of water simulating a vast underwater expanse. The acoustically perfect pool’s design eliminates all extraneous man-made or natural biologic noises and enables precise control of surface and underwater conditions.
It’s quiet now, but the normally placid TRANSDEC pool was the setting this previous week for the 21st International RoboSub Competition, an event sponsored by the Office of Naval Research and RoboNation, Inc. and hosted by the Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific (SSC Pacific), and temporary home for more than 500 enthusiastic students (47 teams) representing 10 countries competing.
This year’s winners are:
• 1st Place – Harbin Engineering University (China) ($7,000)
• 2nd Place – National University of Singapore (Singapore) ($6,000)
• 3rd Place – École de Technologie Supérieure (Canada) ($2,500)
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.
The student-designed and -built autonomous robotic submarines completed a difficult series of visual- and acoustic-based tasks that simulated the work required of robotic subs in a range of underwater activity. This annual 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.
In addition to the three top winning teams, special awards were given to the following:
- Best First Time Entry... University of Maryland, Baltimore County ($500)
- Sportsmanship... École de Technologie Supérieure ($500)
- Best Knowledge Transfer... Texas A&M University ($500)
- Resource Sharing... Washington State University ($500)
- Perseverance... University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez ($500)
- Partnership... San Diego Robotics 101 ($500)
- Best Video... University of Alberta ($500)
- Best Presenter... The Ohio State University ($500)
- Best Use of Simulation... Wroclaw University of Science and Technology ($500)
A landmark naval research facility in San Diego for more than 75 years, SSC Pacific is comprised of almost 5,000 scientists, researchers, and engineers, and is a member of an exclusive team of research labs that make up the Defense Department’s biggest brain trust.
For more information about the RoboSub competition, visit www.robonation.org.