New Wave Media

July 31, 2018

Drone Boats to Face-Off in Global RobotX Challenge

WAM-V USV (Photo: Marine Advanced Research)

WAM-V USV (Photo: Marine Advanced Research)

Students facing off in the AUVSI Foundation's Maritime RobotX Challenge will battle for cash prizes and bragging rights by completing a series of tasks to demonstrate navigation and control; obstacle detection and avoidance; station keeping and docking; and observation, identification and reporting of a specified target.

The competition, set to take place in Oahu, Hawaii from December 8-15, will include students from 13 universities representing Australia, China, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan and the U.S.

The purpose of the challenge is to foster innovation as students develop their skills in systems engineering and autonomous command and control, while collaborating with the engineers and organizations that develop the required sensors and technologies.

The WAM-V USV platform, designed and manufactured by Marine Advanced Research, Inc. in Richmond, Calif., is used by every university participating in the challenge. “Lightweight, maneuverable, and easily customized, the WAM-V is the ideal platform for this competition,” says Mark Gundersen, President and CEO of the company. “We’re proud to have completed delivery to all the teams, and are excited to see the specialized designs these students create with their WAM-Vs.”

The WAM-Vs delivered for the competition are the same model employed by industry, government, and research institutes around the globe, currently operating in 10 countries. An innovative class of watercraft, WAM-Vs from 8’ to 150’ can be tasked with ocean sensor deployment and retrieval; port surveillance and security; Marine Protected Area monitoring and enforcement; UUV deployment and retrieval; nodal communications; benthic operations survey; maritime interdiction; and offshore oil and gas operations.

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