RoboSub 21st International Competition

RoboSub 2018 kicks off 21st year of unmanned, underwater robotics competition​

By Patric Petrie, SSC Pacific lead staff writer​

 Click image at right for printable version

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 on Sunday, Aug. 5 from 1 to 5 p.m., PST.

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 (see full list of teams below).

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. (  ​


 Content Editor Web Part

​2018 Participating Teams (47 Teams, 10 Countries)

Brazil (1 Team)
Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ)
Canada (5 Teams)
Ecole de Technologie Suprieure
McGill University
University of Alberta
University of British Columbia
University of Victoria
China (2 Teams)
Harbin Engineering University
Northwestern Polytechnical University
India (1 Team)
Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay
Japan (1 Team)
Kyushu Institute of Technology
Poland (1 Team)
Wroclaw University of Science and Technology
Russia (2 Teams)
Far Eastern Federal University / Institute for
Marine Technology Problems
Maritime State University (named after
Admiral G.I. Nevelskoy) & The Center for
Robotics Development
Singapore (1 Team)
National University of Singapore
Thailand (1 Team)
Kasetsart University
USA (32 Teams)
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

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