RoboSub 2018 Kicks off 21st Year of Unmanned, Underwater Robotics Competition

RoboSub 2018 Kicks off 21st Year of Unmanned, Underwater Robotics Competition

Release Date: 7/31/2018 9:57:00 AM
By Patric Petrie, SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO, 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.

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