Student Design Projects and Competitions  

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As part of the capstone experience, or independent study projects, many of our students elect to participate in technical or design competitions. Many of these teams work with midshipman from other majors. Often the students and their faculty mentors traveled to a national or international competition to showcase their work.

SailBot

SailBot

Contact:  Prof. Bishop or Miller
More Info
Results:  2009 1st and 2nd Place

Imagine trying to teach a robot to sail. That is exactly what this group of students had to do when they entered the first international autonomous sailboat competition, hosted here on the Chesapeake Bay back in 2008. They retro-fitted a standard, small, sailboat with digital sensors such as GPS, a compass and wind-speed indicators. All that information was fed into an on-board computer which controlled various motors to adjust the rudder and sails.  Since then they have gone on to participate in the World Robotics Sailing Competition.


RobotCup's International Micro-robot Soccer Competition

RobotCup

Contact:  Prof. Piepmeier or Firebaugh
More Info
Results:  2009  2nd place

Have you ever watched a soccer match through a microscope? RoboCop International sponsored a competition in which Micro Electrical Mechanical (MEM) devices were pitted against each other in a soccer match. The field is so small (2.5 mm), you need a microscope to see it. Systems Engineering, in a joint effort with students and faculty from the Electrical Engineering department, entered the first ever such competition. They designed and fabricated the microscopic devices and controlled them by sending various electrical signals through the paying field.


Autonomous Under Water Vehicle

Autonomous under water vehicle

Contact:  CAPT Nicholson
More Info
Results:  2010  2nd place

The AUVSI organization sponsors an annual competition in San Diego, CA. Student groups must design and build a completely autonomous underwater vehicle (no remote control). Events include, navigating through a series of underwater gates using underwater cameras, and surfacing within a specified area.


Autonomous Surface Vessel

Autonomous Surface Vessel

Contact:  Prof. Feemster or LT Searock
More Info
Results:  2010  5th place

The AUVSI organization sponsors an annual competition in Norfolk, VA. Student groups must design and build a completely autonomous surface ship (no remote control). Events include, navigating through a channels marked by buoys and following GPS way points.


Intelligent Ground Vehicle

Intelligent Ground Vehicle

Contact:  Prof. Esposito (esposito at usna dot edu)
More Info
Results:  2010: 10/53, 
2009: 16/45, Rookie of the Year Award

The AUVSI organization sponsors an annual competition in Rochester, MI. Student groups must design and build a completely autonomous ground vehicle (no remote control). Events include, navigating through an outdoor obstacle course cluttered with barrels, cones, and barricades, while following lane marking painted in the grass.


Semantic Object Recognition

Semantic Object Recognition

Contact:  Prof. Piepmeier
More Info
Results:  2009: 1st Place, Robot League

This challenge provides a robot with a plain English list of items to find (ex. book, orange ball, CD).   The robot then automatically connects to the internet and uses a google images search to try to learn what these object looks like.    It then drives around the room trying to find them.


Systems Ball

Systems Ball

Before there were BattleBots and Robot Wars...there was Systems Ball! For the past 20 years students in the Systems Engineering department have chosen to participate in a unique type of intramural sport – robotic combat. The rules are simple: Climb the ramp, and try to place the ping pong ball in the hoop to score. Along the way, try to do as much damage as possible to your opponent. Some of the entries have been downright diabolical, sporting hammers, saw blades, axes and all sorts of crazy weapons. One of the teams even had an audio speaker on their entry to hurl insults at the competition. Join us on the last day of every spring semester as we celebrate all that is great about engineering with door prizes, a halftime show, and lots of exciting competition.


The Aquamonkey

Aquamonkey

Contact:  Prof. Bishop
More Info
Results:  2009: 1st Place, Robot League

Think about how you could build a vehicle that could travel on land, as well as on water, is small and easy to steer. Oh yeah, it should be able to climb up the size of a ship too! The Auqamonkey does all that through a highly innovative mechanical design that uses rare earth magnets and buoyant foam.


RoboHawk

RoboHawk

Contact:  Prof. Piper

Each year a group of midshipman fields an unmanned aerial vehicle.  Past projects have focused on autopilot design, instrumentation packages, and GPS navigation.


Micro-copter

Micro-copter

Contact:  Prof. Piper

Micro aerial vehicles (~ 1 ft) can be used to navigate indoor environments.  Controlling such systems provides an interesting challenge --- many such systems cannot be easily flown by a human operator.   One of the main challenge stems from the limited payload capacity of the vehicle, severely restricting the viable choices for computing and sensor packages.

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