With the Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition only just completed, the UCF Robotics Club hit the road to Virginia Beach, VA, to participate in the Office of Naval Research’s (ONR) and the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) International RoboBoats competition.

The club brought back a 2nd place and a check for $4,000.00 for the second consecutive year. Sponsored by Army Research Lab’s (ARL) Simulation and Training Technology Center (STTC) and the Institute for Simulation & Training (IST), they competed against 14 other schools from as far away as Taiwan.

Students are required to design and build an autonomous surface vehicle capable of, without any human intervention, channel navigation, obstacle avoidance and other advanced tasks such as spraying water onto shoreline targets. The UCF platform, Boatname the Brave, repeatedly passed through the departing gates and navigated a channel of red, green, and yellow buoys using a suite of sensors that includes a digital compass, laser range finder and digital camera.

Those watching the live status updates on Facebook over the weekend saw how UCF pushed through multiple challenges such as motor and electronics failure, and pulled together as a team to achieve the best channel navigation capability they have ever performed at the event.

More information about the event, including video recaps, can be found at RoboBoat.org. More about the Robotics Club and the team is at Robotics.UCF.edu and Robotics at UCF on Facebook.