THE US NAVAL ACADEMY (TOP) AND EMBRY-RIDDLE
AERONAUTICAL UNIVERSITY (BOTTOM) MADE GREAT USE
OF WATERPROOF PELICAN CASES.
team — the University of Florida has participated in
every single AUV Competition to date! The state of
Florida is also the home of the team from the University
of Central Florida who — with Lovecraftian flair — named
their sub Cthulu.
When we stopped by the work area of veteran
competitor USC, the team was hard at work sorting out
battery issues for their polished looking AUV named
Seabee III. And while the batteries may have been
troublesome, USC had no trouble with their
implementation of ROS, the Robot Operating System
base from developer Willow Garage.
We were very impressed by how many teams hoped
to tackle all of the vision based tasks instead of focusing
on one or two and calling it a day. The Virginia Tech sub
was designed to complete every task, and a modular
design allowed the team to detach and work on systems
that were being troublesome (when we stopped by, they
were sorting out the sonar). VT’s neighbors to the south
— North Carolina State University — were also their
neighbors in the competition, with their pit area in the
next booth over. Veteran team NCSU was working on a
tight budget this year, with the ingenuity and efficiency
of their team summed up with their custom waterproof
switch that consisted of a bottle nipple and a generous
amount of silicone.
We imagine that it would be very easy for
successful veteran teams to stick with the same basic
sub design, simply tweaking it from year to year. This is
often not the case, and teams will often go through
dramatic redesigns from year to year. The team from the
US Naval Academy did a fundamental redesign of their
sub two years ago, and believed that a Doppler Velocity
Logger and cameras with auto white balance could put
them in the finals.
In addition to the teams coming from the far corners
of the United States, sunny San Diego was home to
numerous teams. San Diego City Robotics is a team made
up of students from San Diego City College and SDSU.
When we stopped by, they were working away on some
problems that arose during testing, though with a sunny
demeanor fitting of their hometown. They looked at the
problem solving as “part of the fun, not part of the
San Diego iBotics is a non-profit student run
organization that draws most of its team from UC San
Diego. Their AUV — the Stingray — is truly a thing a
beauty. Its carbon fiber shell looks like its oceanic
namesake, and we were surprised to learn that the team
TEAMS CAME FROM AS NEAR AS USC IN LOS ANGELES (TOP)
AND AS FAR AS ICELAND — AS WITH THE UNIVERSITY
OF REYKJAVIK (BOTTOM).
13 Years Under The Sea
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