Similar to the 2014 Maritime RobotX challenge, this year the competition focusses on high level collaborative autonomy and increased task complexity. Teams must design their vessels to work with a changing course structure in a semi sheltered environment near public boating highways.
This year there are twelve teams competing from five different countries on the Pacific Rim. The competition is sure to be challenging once again but we are excited and better prepared this year. Maybe we might even get some time to relax!
With the focus on high level autonomy one of the major challenges this year is mission planning. During qualifying teams will be able to attempt tasks individually and gain points for qualifying. However, on the finals course there will be interconnections betweeen tasks and points will be awarded accordingly. This is a significantly more complex challenge because the vessel must autonomously make decisions about what tasks to execute in what order to maximise task points and minimise run time.
A summary of some individual tasks is shown below, if you would like to read about them in detail then please follow this link to the RobotX webpage.
This year the obscatcle navigation task includes some extras. Several Hawaiian 'Tiki Totems' (represented by coloured beacons) will be strewn throughout the obstacles. The vessel must identify them and circle them in a given direction.
This year an underwater survey will be included. This task requires teams to detect a break in a traditional Hawaiian Loko Kuapa (shallow rock pool) wall. This task not only relates to traditional Hawaiian culture but is also relevant to tasks such as underwater pipe surveying.
Detect and deliver is another new challenge which requires teams to detect a target then shoot racquet balls into it. While this challenge is a bit more fun, it also have real world applications such as autonomous firefighting where a vessel would have to detect, target and spray the fire.