The Office of Naval Research provided each team with a standard bare-bones USV. The teams are to provide their propulsion units and programme software to give their USV autonomous capabilities.
PARTS OF A FULLY FITTED UNMANNED SURFACE VESSEL (USV)
A Lidar (light detection and ranging) measures distance by targeting an object with laser and analysing the reflected light.
Inertia measurement unit
This unit works together with Global Positioning System to determine the speed.
A high-resolution camera to capture image data of the environment that can be processed and analysed.
Different components on the vessel are powered by their own power supply, typically lithium batteries.
For safety, there is a physical kill switch in addition to a remote wireless one.
Competing teams have to design and assemble their propulsion system.
The shock absorbers have an integrated air spring and damper to balance the vessel.
The vessel is controlled by software programmed by the teams.
Maritime RobotX Challenge
In this competition, the autonomous USVs must complete a series of tasks on their own without intervention by team members.
Task 1: Demonstrate navigation and control
The vessel must move through the start and end gates.
Task 2: Underwater search and report
The vessel must identify and locate an underwater device that is emitting an acoustic signal.
Task 3: Identify and dock
The vessel must identify one of three docking bays, and must enter and exit the correct bay.
Task 4: Observe and report
The vessel must observe a "light buoy" and determine the sequential light pattern it flashes.
Task 5: Detect and avoid obstacles
The vessel must enter through a specific gate, navigate through obstacles without contact and exit through a designated gate.
Science and technology showcase
Members of the public can also take part in fringe events around The Float @ Marina Bay, such as watching the Robots Live! show, where gigantic robots battle each other, or joining free workshops and lectures to learn more about building their own robots. The Maritime RobotX Challenge is from 9am to 6pm, from today to Sunday, and is free.
The event is organised by the National University of Singapore Faculty of Engineering, Science Centre Singapore and the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International Foundation.
This article was first published on Oct 24, 2014.
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