Underwater Robotics Club Makes Finals at RoboSub Competition

July 25, 2011

NC State Underwater Robotics Team at the RoboSub Competition 
NC State Underwater Robotics Team at the RoboSub Competition

The Underwater Robotic Club's Seawolf IV autonomous underwater vehicle had a strong showing at the RoboSub competition in San Deigo on June 15-17th.  With two great runs in the qualifying heats, Seawolf IV was selected as one of 8 finalists to compete in the Finals.  Hardware problems early in the day and some issues in adjusting to track reconfiguration put them out of the running for the top spot, but their 8th place finish was the best finish to date.

"But that is what keeps us on our feet - we have once again brought the team closer to victory than any year in the club's history. If we gain too much ground, what will be our motivator for the next year? What keeps us from getting too comfortable? Too complacent?" a team member said of their finals run.

Seawolf IV during practice time 
Seawolf IV during practice time

With a lot of hard work on vision tracking, calibrating, debugging, and begging the robot to do what the team wanted, they were able to get Seawolf IV was ranked 7th out of the 28 teams in the qualifying heats.  This is the first year that the team has made it into finals and the team was ecstatic.

In the end, the team was very pleased with their finish and looks forward to getting into the competition next year.

Co-sponsored by the U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR), the goal of the 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. This event also serves to foster ties between young engineers and the organizations developing AUV technologies.

Perennial favorites Team Sonia of ETS in Canada and Cornell University captured the top two spots.  The international competition had 28 teams entered including teams from the US, China, India, Canada, Japan and Iceland.

You can find more info about the Underwater Robotics Club at www.ncsurobotics.com.