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USUSub Qualifies at 2017 International RoboSub Competition

Grace Michaelson


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Aug. 31, 2017 – Engineering students from the Utah State University RoboSub team competed last month in San Diego at Robonation's annual International RoboSub Competition and made it through the qualifying rounds. The contest ran July 24-30 at the SSC Pacific TRANSDEC and included competing teams from colleges and universities around the world.

Robosub team posing with their robosub

The USUSub Team sent 20 students to compete in San Diego at the 2017 International
RoboSub Competition. The team was comprised of students with majors in computer
science, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and computer engineering.

"Last year our submarine didn't qualify and it was disappointing," said Dianne Althouse, a co-team leader. "When you build a robot there are all sorts of stresses involved. All-nighters are a regular thing. One minute your sub works perfectly and five seconds later the sub doesn't work and you have no idea why. Our goal this year was to qualify, just qualify. The moment we did, we cheered. It was one of the happiest moments I've experienced. All that hard work, that stress and frustration, it was all worth it."

Over the course of a week, student-designed-and-built autonomous robotic submarines completed a series of visual- and acoustic-based tasks in this international competition. According to Robonation, the robotics company that hosts the annual competition, the tasks simulate the work required of robotic subs in many facets of underwater activity.

robosub being lowered into water

The autonomous robotic submarine created by the USUSub team made it to the qualifying
rounds of the competition held in July. The team competed against other colleges and
universities from around the world in a series of visual- and acoustic-based tasks.

"It was the coolest thing I've been able to do as a student here," said mechanical engineering student Sam Dalrymple. "The atmosphere of the competition was amazing, and the thrill of fixing and improving the sub before the next day's trials was incredible. Spending the week in San Diego was definitely the highlight of my summer."

USUSub is part of an international autonomous submarine research and development competition. The team includes nearly 30 students with majors in computer science, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and computer engineering. The team's primary purpose is to provide students with first-hand robotics research and development experience.


Media Contacts:

Dianne Althouse - USUSub Co-Team Leader | | cell: (435) 890-9461

Grace Michaelson – USU College of Engineering | | office: (435) 797-8170 | cell: (702) 524-1070 | @EngineeringUSU |