UCF Students Win Autonomous Surface Vehicle Competition

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A team of students from the University of Central Florida (UCF) Robotics Laboratory took first prize at AUVSI and the U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR)’s First International Autonomous Surface Vehicle Competition (ASVC), held Aug. 7-9 in San Diego, Calif. The first competition of its kind brought together students teams from the U.S. and Canada.

Six undergraduate student teams competed for three days at the U.S. Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center’s TRANSDEC Facility, where they were challenged to navigate a surface-water course with autonomous vehicles built with off-the-shelf components.

The ASVC is a student competition based on unmanned boats operating under rules of the waterway including littoral area navigation, channel following and autonomous docking. This is typically done with computer vision, multi-sensor fusion techniques, proactive and reactive path planning, and machine learning approaches using embedded systems within the vehicle.


Five of six teams qualified for a final run through the course which consisted of a starting gate, six pairs of buoys, a floating obstacle and a dock. Placing third in the qualifying runs, the UCF team surged ahead as their autonomous vehicle system, running artificial intelligence on a software stack of tens of thousands of lines of code, advanced to the first place position.


The rankings and awards:


1) University of Central Florida - $8,000

2) Florida Atlantic University - $5,000

3) École de Technologie Supérieure - $3,000

4) Embry-Riddle University - $1500

5) Villanova University - $1,500

6) University of Michigan - $1,000

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