CU Boulder students make splash in national ‘RoboBoat’ competition

via Daily Camera

Three students from the University of Colorado Boulder found themselves far from home earlier this summer as they watched their 5-foot-long fully autonomous boat navigate through the water on its own volition for the 2019 International RoboBoat Competition at South Daytona, Fla.

CU Boulder’s small team, derived from its new RoboBoat club, designed, built, and entered its 40-pound boat in a worldwide annual robotics contest that took place June 17 through 23. The 12th annual competition, hosted by RoboNation, presented an opportunity for students to put the abilities of their autonomous surface vehicles to the test with open water challenges meant to imitate real-world boating operations.

The team, comprised of computer science sophomore and club leader Earl Potters, Andrew Zhu in electrical engineering and Jack Bigiel in mechanical engineering, was entirely new to the field, none having participated in a RoboBoat competition before.

CU Boulder’s squad was one of 13 that set their boats free in South Daytona’s Reed Canal Park, competing alongside student teams which traveled from as far as Egypt, Indonesia, and Mexico. High school, undergraduate, and graduate students were eligible to participate in the competition.

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