Drexel University to Host Underwater Robotics 2014 SeaPerch Competition
February 3, 2014
On April 25 and 26, 2014, Drexel University’s Daskalakis Athletic Center pool will be home to more than 800 middle and high school students competing against each other in a robotics challenge to build remotely operated robots. The underwater robotics competition, known as the Greater Philadelphia SeaPerch Challenge, is an annual regional qualifying competition that sends its winners on to the National Sea Perch Competition in Hattiesburg, MS.
“Drexel’s goal in hosting this event is to increase students’ interest in robotics, science, mathematics, engineering and technology” said Holly Burnside, Director of Research Development for the College of Engineering. “We want to teach our students in the community as early as possible, the value of engineering and how their skills can be used to solve the problems of the future.” Competitors will be judged in multiple categories. The first category, vehicle performance, is a test of how well the students did in designing and building their Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). The second category, team presentation, is a test of how well the students can convey their engineering ideas and market their ROV. The third category, design notebook, is a test of the students organizational and documentation capabilities.
This year’s vehicle performance challenge, “The Heist” requires teams to open release a latch to a vault door, disarm two underwater mines and retrieve six weighted load boxes.
Sea Perch is part of the Office of Naval Research’s “Recruiting the Next Generation of Naval Architects” initiative. The initiative focuses on bringing academia, government and industry to work together to ensure that the talent needed to design the Navy’s next generation of ships and submarines will be there when needed.
Drexel University has hosted all Greater Philadelphia regional Sea Perch competitions since its inception in 2005.