RoboSub Competition kicks off in California

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The U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR)-sponsored Annual International RoboSub Competition kicked off in San Diego, California, on July 26.

In its 20th edition, the autonomous underwater vehicles event is taking place at Space and Naval Warfare System Center Pacific’s (SSC Pacific) Transducer Evaluation Center pool.

The competition 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 300 students (44 college and high school teams from eight 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.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer will greet participants at the free and open to the public event at 10 a.m. Friday, July 28, with a short welcoming speech.

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 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 July 28-30.

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. SeaPerch is managed by the AUVSI Foundation.

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).


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