Navy Competition Tests Underwater Robots

Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Facing an exodus of institutional brain power as baby-boomer scientists retire, the Navy is turning to a younger pool of talent for its underwater robotics program, the Washington Post reported. As part of the effort, college students were recently invited to build robots that could perform a series of tasks without human control in a 38-ft. deep research pool. The culmination, the International Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Competition, was a sink-or-swim contest. The robots were required to swim through a gate, find and dock with a flashing light box, locate and tag a cracked pipeline, then home in on an acoustic beacon and resurface in a designated recovery zone. Top prize was $7,000. In the nine-year history of the event, about 14 competitors have been recruited by the Navy or by private firms as part of the next generation of engineers who make robots for the military. A total of 21 teams competed in this year's event, with the University of Florida's robot, named the SubjuGator, winning the contest for the second year straight. Florida's 12-man team- contest participants were overwhelmingly male- was sponsored by defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp., with backing coming from other companies including Microsoft Corp. and Intel Corp. Other defense companies, like Northrop Grumman Corp., sponsored the contest and robot manufacturer Applied Research Associates Inc. had a stall at the event in the hopes of luring new talent. Matthew Koenn, who wrote the computer code that enabled the SubjuGator to "see" the pool floor, said the robot's 35-lbs. weight made it faster and more maneuverable than others that were closer to the competition's maximum of 140 lbs. Most robots in this year's competition were cylindrical or torpedo-shaped. Duke University, which finished second, chose a circular design that resembled a flying saucer. Brian Hilgerford, 22, a Duke graduate, said the shape enabled the machine to move sharply in any direction, unlike the torpedo-shaped robots, which must turn in a wide circle. The robots all came with an array of thrusters, external sensors, cameras and droppers. Teams from as far as India and Japan competed. The youngest were 14 years old, from Amador Valley High School in Pleasanton, near San Francisco. Some machines performed according to plan; others seemed to have a mind of their own. Instead of swimming through a clearly marked gate, Cornell University's underwater robot, named Seamonkey, veered hard to the right and headed toward the edge of the pool. It finished seventh. (Source: Washington Post)

Maritime Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter May 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Shipbuilding

CBP, AMO Unveils New Interceptor Vessel

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) and SAFE Boat International celebrated the unveiling of AMO’s newest coastal interceptor vessel (CIV) Thursday.

Seaspan Acquires Eighth 14000 TEU Vessel

Seaspan Corporation (NYSE:SSW) announced today that it accepted delivery of a 14000 TEU containership, the YM Width. The new containership, which was constructed at CSBC Corporation,

NASSCO Lays Keel for Jones Act Tanker Liberty

U.S. shipbuilder General Dynamics NASSCO hosted a keel laying ceremony on Thursday, May 26 for the Liberty, one of three new ECO Class Jones Act tankers under a

Navy

US Navy Updated Zika Virus Infection Guidance

Navy Medicine released updated Zika Virus Infection guidance in NAVADMIN 121/16, May 26, communicating current information, travel precautions, and risk reduction

1,076 Graduate from U.S. Naval Academy

The U.S. Naval Academy graduated 1,076 men and women at the annual graduation and commissioning ceremony May 27 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. U.S. Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Adm.

Phoenix Express 2016 Concludes

Maritime forces from North Africa, Europe, and the United States concluded exercise Phoenix Express 2016 with closing ceremonies in Souda Bay, Greece May 27. Phoenix Express,

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Ship Electronics Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.0881 sec (11 req/sec)