Cambridge students have won 2013’s Student Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Challenge – Europe (SAUC-E).
The team’s autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) named Barracuda obtained the highest score performing a number of mission tasks. Second prize went to the University of the West England with its AUV entitled Phoenix, while the FeelHippo team from the University of Florence took home the third prize.
Other awards included the Navigator Award, which went to a team of students from Heriot-Watt University.
Each year SAUC-E challenges multidisciplinary university teams to design and build AUVs capable of performing series of tasks autonomously in a sheltered sea harbour, with no control, guidance or communication from a person or from any off-board computer including GPS systems. The new twist for SAUC-E ‘13 was to fully include a second autonomous underwater or surface robot as collaborator for complex tasks.
In eight years, the competition has produced a set of valuable outputs, including ruggedised vehicles currently operative for industrial and scientific applications. In addition, numerous SAUC-E alumni are employed in the field in world-class companies and laboratories, including CMRE, and scientific papers on their achievements have been published.
“These young people will always value the lessons learned, the excitement of testing their ideas in a real-world ocean environment, and the professional contacts they made,” said Dr Dirk Tielbuerger, director of CMRE. “Many of these students will decide to make ocean robotics a career back in their nations. CMRE has hired alumni of past competitions and they are making contributions now to NATO maritime capabilities.”
The top three teams walked away with €3,000, €2,000 and €1,000 to be used to improve their equipment for future competitions.
In addition, the winners will receive three registration vouchers to participate in the fifth BTS Croatia, to be held this coming September.