SubjuGator and PropaGator teams place 2nd in international competitions

In Engineering Education, News by Jen Ambrose

Two teams from UF’s Machine Intelligence Lab have each won $5,000 and taken second place in their respective international competitions this month. SubjuGator, UF’s autonomous submarine, and PropaGator, UF’s autonomous surface boat, traveled cross-country with faculty and students in tow for annual competitions hosted by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI).

The 17th International RoboSub Competition was held in San Diego last weekend, with 39 teams in attendance. Co-sponsored by the U.S. Office of Naval Research, the goal of this competition is “to advance the development of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) by challenging a new generation of engineers to perform realistic missions in an underwater environment.” SubjuGator came in second to a team from Cornell University.

The 7th annual International RoboBoat Competition was held in Virginia Beach, July 8-13. PropaGator competed against 12 other student teams and their autonomous surface vehicles, racing through an aquatic obstacle course. This included littoral area navigation, channel following, and autonomous docking. Extra points were earned for identifying sound-emitting buoys and light sequences. In addition to winning second place overall, the PropaGator team won the Innovation Award for Hull Form and Propulsion Design.

The Machine Intelligence Laboratory (MIL) provides an environment on campus that is dedicated to the study and development of intelligent, autonomous robots. These two MIL teams have historically done well in competition – PropaGator debuted in first place in last year’s RoboBoat, and SubjuGator was a three-time champion and has been holding onto 2nd place at RoboSub since 2012.

Autonomous systems has been growing as a core strength for College of Engineering and is one of the strategic research areas recently identified in the university’s Preeminence Plan.

See full list of team sponsors, advisers and students members on their websites:

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