Office of Naval Research Holds 19th Underwater Robotics System Contest; Kelly Cooper Comments

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Virginia-class-submarineThe Office of Naval Research and the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International Foundation have sponsored the 19th international underwater robotics system competition in San Diego.

The annual International RoboSub Competition held July 25-30 saw 46 teams design and operate submarines through an obstacle course, ONR said Friday.

“To be successful, each team had to use their creative engineering skills to construct vehicles to navigate the course and its realistic missions — all autonomously,” said Kelly Cooper, a program officer in ONR’s sea warfare and weapons, ship systems and engineering research division.

Participants in the contest navigated a PVC obstacle pipe, dropped markers to weigh anchor in a preset area, launched mock torpedoes, pulled a surface ship underwater and then searched, grabbed and released an object that emitted a sonar signal.

California Institute of Technology earned the top prize of $6,000, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay won second place and Cornell University landed the third spot.

Cooper said the contest sought to help the student participants use their knowledge in RoboSub to build new unmanned systems for warfighters.

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