Student Teams Vie for $20,000 in Underwater Vehicle Competition

What: Fourth Annual International Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Competition
When: Thursday, July 12 to Sunday, July 15, 2001
Where: U.S. Naval Academy, Hubbard Hall, Annapolis, MD.

See 12 teams of college and high school student engineers pit their unmanned submersible vehicles for $20,000 in prizes. The competition, sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), is coming to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., Thursday, July 12 to Sunday, July 15.

There will be opportunities to interview and photograph the teams while they are fine-tuning, testing and displaying their robot-like vehicles Thursday and Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The underwater competition gets underway Saturday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sunday morning starting at 8 a.m. The top four teams will compete from 1.p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

The competition is designed to inspire the next generation of engineers to perform realistic missions such as in underwater mapping and rescue and recovery missions, including dangerous tasks, such as finding and neutralizing mines in remote underwater environments.

"We want the teams to design systems related to real-world missions," said Tom Curtin, the ONR program manager sponsoring the competition. "If you can win this contest, it is a natural step to a Navy or commercially relevant mission." Some former competitors are now working in Navy Laboratories, Curtin said.

This year's competition features returning champ from last year, the University of Rhode Island along with two-time champion, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Rounding out the field are competitors from Cornell University, a joint team from Duke University and North Carolina State University, Florida Atlantic University, Stevens Institute of Technology, University of Colorado at Denver, University of Florida, the U.S. Naval Academy, Amador Valley High School from Pleasanton, Calif., Monta Vista High School from Cupertino, Calif., and Ecole de Technologie Superieure from Montreal, Canada.

For more information about this year's competition and teams along with photos from last year's contest held in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., go to http://www.auvsi.org/competitions/water.cfm.

* Some pages on this website provide links which require a plug in to view.