​Chinese team wins 21st International RoboSub Competition 

By Patric Petrie, SSC Pacific


This year's winning team (Harbin Engineering University, China), shows off its check after winning the 21st International RoboSub Competition, Aug. 5, 2018. The team beat out more than 45 teams from 10 countries to take home the check for $7,000 and bragging rights. 

By Patric Petrie, lead staff writer, SSC Pacific

Nestled on a cliff side of Pt. 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 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 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 - Ecole de Technologie Superieure (Canada) ($2,500)

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... Ecole de Technologie Superieure ($500) 
Best Knowledge Transfer... Texas A&M University ($500) 
Resource Sharing... Washington State University ($500) 
Perseverance... University of Puerto Rico at Mayagez ($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)

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.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 Department of Defense's biggest brain trust.

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) 


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