A Team of Minions Builds their Robot Leader
Engineering students build an autonomous robotic watercraft to take on tough tasks…and challenge the world.
At the mouth of Honolulu Harbor, looking out to the Pacific Ocean, an odd-looking boat is on a mission. Built by a multi-talented coterie of enthusiastic engineers, it’s in a race to see if it can conquer this unique competition all on its own.
While we hear about autopiloted cars and planes most often, advancements in autonomous vehicle technology has spread across all domains and terrains. Rolls-Royce and Finland just demonstrated the first autonomous ferry. In fact, self-piloting seacraft are moving fast in public and private sectors. And nowhere are they moving faster than academic research and competitions.
In support of this work, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) launched the first biennial Maritime RobotX Challenge in 2012. Today, RobotX is the premier unmanned systems competition in the world and one of the most complex robotic competitions anywhere. Student teams from around the world are asked to design, engineer, and build a fully autonomous maritime vehicle to complete a series of difficult tasks.