FAU Brings Home Second Place at International RoboBoat Competition

Florida Atlantic University’s RoboBoat team recently won second place at the eighth annual International RoboBoat Competition in Virginia Beach, Va

FAU RoboBoat team with their unmanned surface vehicle "Owltonomous"


By kelsie-weekes | 7/21/2015

Florida Atlantic University’s RoboBoat team recently won second place at the eighth annual International RoboBoat Competition in Virginia Beach, Va. It was the team’s best finish since it last won second place at the inaugural competition in 2008.

During the competition, student teams put their autonomous unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) through a series of challenges, including vehicle navigation, obstacle avoidance and autonomous docking. The teams also were evaluated on the design of their USV, including quality of engineering and craftsmanship.

FAU’s surface vehicle “Owltonomous” beat 15 teams, including teams from the University of Michigan, Georgia Tech and University of Florida.

“Our engineers beat many other top universities in this competition due to the talent and dedication of our students, faculty and staff,” said Javad Hashemi, Ph.D., chair of FAU’s Department of Ocean and Mechanical Engineering. “I honestly believe we produce some of the best engineers in the state and in the nation, and we have a lot to be proud of in our department.”

 FAU’s RoboBoat team is made up of 12 students from the College of Engineering and Computer Science. Team captain Travis Moscicki said the team is already thinking about next year’s competition.

 “The ability to participate in solving a real-life engineering design challenge and work with a team of this caliber is an experience that is irreplaceable,” he said. “We are already looking toward fundraising, design, and organizational opportunities to help achieve the ultimate goal: taking home first at next year’s competition.”

FAU’s team was guided by faculty advisor Karl von Ellenrieder, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Ocean and Mechanical Engineering. In addition to Moscicki, team members include Justin Koening, Wesley Watkins, Harold Davis, Cullen Williams, Sam Trausneck, Christina Tsai, Jorge Martinez, Andrew Long, Bianca Mesa, Amani Shorky and Keith Scheurman.

“I'm very proud of how well our students performed. We had an essentially new team - only two members of last year’s team were able to attend this year’s event,” said von Ellenrieder. “With a combination of good attitudes, hard work, a little luck and some pre-competition help/advice from last year’s student Roboboat and RobotX competitors, the team really shined.”

For more information, visit the team’s website at http://auvsiasv.fau.edu.

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