Robotics Club members (L-R) David Adams, Michael Scherer (Team Captain), Jacob Carr, Daniel Barber (Advisor), Robin Adams.

Speeding past 53 other schools, the University of Central Florida’s Robotics Club placed second in the 19th Annual Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition last weekend.

Students designed and built robots capable of moving through obstacle courses to reach GPS waypoints and follow lanes independently without any human intervention.

Composed of students from UCF’s Computer Science, Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering programs, the team began creating its robot, called Automaton, in August.

The international competition involved four events: the Design Challenge, Navigation Challenge, Autonomous Challenge and one involving how robots communicate, called Joint Architecture for Unmanned Systems, or JAUS Challenge.

UCF’s team took second place in the JAUS Challenge and in the Navigation Challenge, netting the team $7,000 in prize money. The team nabbed sixth place in the Autonomous Challenge.

The Design Challenge requires students to submit a 15-page design report and present to a panel of judges who review their approach.  In the Navigation Challenge, robots drive to six GPS waypoints surrounded by challenging obstacles in six minutes.

In the Autonomous Challenge, the robots must travel through a large maze filled with obstacles, following lane lines that fork and merge back together at different points.

Supporters and sponsors of the UCF team included the Army Research Laboratory’s Human Research Engineering Directorate, the Army’s Simulation and Training and Technology Center and UCF’s Institute for Simulation & Training.

The UCF team included students David Adams, Michael Scherer, Jacob Carr, Robin Adams and Jonathan Mohlenhoff.

Daniel Barber, a research associate with IST, served as the team’s faculty adviser.

The international competition was sponsored by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.

For more information about the competition, visit To learn more about UCF’s Robotics Club, visit