Self-thinking aquatic bot earns second place

After spending nearly every day of the last 10 months in the lab, the UCF robotics club finally perfected their latest creation: an aquatic robot capable of making its own decisions.

“We basically spend an entire year building these robots that we send to competition,” said Kiran Bernard, recent graduate from the electrical engineering program and member of the robotics club.

On June 12, the robotics club traveled to Virginia Beach, Va., and competed against 14 other teams from around the world in the Office of Naval Research and the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International’s RoboBoats competition, where they ultimately took home second place and $4,000.

“It’s an annual event that is sponsored by government agencies where student teams are required to build a robotic vehicle from the ground up that is capable of navigating different kinds of obstacle courses without any human intervention,” said Daniel Barber, faculty advisor of the robotics club and research associate for the Institute for Simulation and Training.

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