International marine robotics competitions at NATO S&T CMRE

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International marine robotics competitions at NATO S&T CMRE

The 9th annual Student Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Challenge–Europe (SAUC-E) will be held at the Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE), from 20 September to 26 September 2014.
Held since 2006, SAUC-E challenges the next generation of engineers to design and build an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) capable of performing realistic missions. The event is designed to encourage students to think about underwater technology and related applications while fostering innovation and technology. It also aims at getting young engineers and scientists to consider careers in the field. Participating teams must consist of 75% student members and have a faculty advisor.
As in the past year, in SAUC-E’14 we want to focus the team attention and effort on cooperation between vehicles. A second autonomous underwater or surface robot as a collaborator can therefore be included in the realization of some tasks and cooperation/collaboration between vehicles (also belonging to different teams) will be appreciated.

euRathlon is an EU funded FP7 research project which organizes new outdoor robotics competitions inviting teams to test the intelligence and autonomy of their robots in challenging scenarios. Specifically, the project will propose and organize three different competitions: a land robotics competition carried out in Berchtesgaden, Germany, in September 2013; a sea robotics competition that will be held at CMRE in 2014 and finally the euRathlon Grand Challenge, that, for the FIRST time in the world, will involve the cooperation of robots from the sea, land and air domains and that will be organized by CMRE and held in Italy in September 2015. The 2015 euRathlon Grand Challenge will propose challenges inspired by the 2011 Fukushima accident and will require a combined team of robots to work together to survey the area of interest, collect environmental data, identify critical hazards and intervene on equipment present on the scene. Only through robot cooperation will the teams be able to successfully accomplish the proposed tasks.
euRathlon 14 marine robotics competition will be held at CMRE’s water basin from 29 September to 3 October, 2014.
In euRathlon the tasks will be inspired by the 2011 Fukushima accident, including long range navigation to reach the disaster area, exploration of a mock industrial submerged area and manipulation of underwater structures.
With the aim to ease the participation also of teams not expert in the marine domain, CMRE, in the framework of euRathlon project, has bought three SPARUS II AUVs manufactured by the University of Girona and two Teledyne Explorer DVL 600KHz, Phased Array Transducer. The equipment has been loaned to the participant teams. This will help also the benchmarking activity, one of the objectives of the euRathlon project, since results produced by the same kind of robots executing the same tasks can be analyzed and compared.

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