Robotics team diving into deep end at RoboSub competition

Jul 25, 2013 by Richard Cairney

A student team based in the University of Alberta's Faculty of Engineering has taken its underwater robotic vehicle to an international competition in the United States this week.

"It's sort of like an underwater obstacle course for robotic vehicles," said team lead Mike Bujold, who is in his fourth year of computing science. "The robot has tasks it is required to do autonomously."

Ten team members are making the trip to a U.S. Navy facility in San Diego, which hosts the annual RoboSub competition. There, they will compete against more than 30 teams from around the world.

The U of A team's is equipped to complete its tasks with visual identification software that allows it to "see" where it is going and "recognize" specific shapes. Sonar also helps the vehicle know where it is relative to other objects.

The first step for all teams is to submerge their vehicle and have it steer through a gate, just to prove it is operable. Things get more complicated after that.

There are vision tests for shapes and colours, and each vehicle is required to detect a certain shape or colour, follow the path segments on the pool floor and use those markers to determine where it is supposed to go.

There are also marked bins at the bottom of the pool that the vehicles are supposed to recognize and drop objects into.

Bujold says taking part in teams such as the Autonomous Robotic Vehicle Project enhances learning because it gives participants hands-on experience and allows them to test what they have learned in real-life settings. The team is divided into three groups: software, electronics and mechanical.

Joining the group comes with "a steep learning curve," says Bujold, but "it definitely gives you a kick-start because members of the group teach you new things, and when it comes time to learn it in the classroom, you have already done it physically."

The International RoboSub Competition runs July 22 to 28.

Explore further: Brain-training for baseball robot

More information: www.auvsifoundation.org/founda… ompetitions/robosub/

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

OSU solar vehicle wins Formula Sun Grand Prix

Jul 04, 2013

(Phys.org) —In bright sun and 105-degree heat, the solar vehicle team at Oregon State University drove "The Phoenix" last week to victory in the 2013 Formula Sun Grand Prix competition in Austin, Texas ...

How low battery can you go?

May 27, 2013

With batteries still struggling to pack the same power as petrol one of the great challenges for electric vehicles is extending their range.

Recommended for you

N. Korea suffers another Internet shutdown

12 hours ago

North Korea suffered an Internet shutdown for at least two hours on Saturday, Chinese state-media and cyber experts said, after Pyongyang blamed Washington for an online blackout earlier this week.

Sony's PlayStation 'gradually coming back'

12 hours ago

Sony was still struggling Saturday to fully restore its online PlayStation system, three days after the Christmas day hack that also hit Microsoft's Xbox, reporting that services were "gradually coming back."

Chattanooga touts transformation into Gig City

12 hours ago

A city once infamous for the smoke-belching foundries that blanketed its buildings and streets with a heavy layer of soot is turning to lightning-fast Internet speeds to try to transform itself into a vibrant ...

Uber broke Indian financial rules: central bank chief

12 hours ago

India's central bank chief lashed out at Uber, already under fire over the alleged rape of a passenger, saying the US taxi-hailing firm violated the country's financial regulations by using an overseas payment ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.