Nearly 30 underwater robotic vehicles will plunge into the Navy’s TRANSDEC pool this weekend for an annual competition among engineering students.
The students built machines that will navigate through a high tech underwater obstacle course at the SPAWAR pool, located at 49275 Electron Drive in Point Loma.
Twenty-nine teams from around the world came to the pool for the 14th annual “RoboSub” competition, which started Friday morning with a demonstration at 10 a.m. and is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. throughout the weekend.
Mayor Jerry Sanders also made an appearance at the competition Friday morning.
“[The competition] allows us to acquire new skills and learn new stuff – stuff we wont see in class. It’s a nice challenge,” said Kevin Larose, team leader from Team Sonia in Montreal Canada.
Larose added that the competition is a good opportunity for innovation because students can share information and ideas with each other.
“We look at almost every vehicle, and sometimes we see a team doing something and we see how we can do it even better,” he said.
Six teams from California will be among the 200 total students competing. Local students from San Diego City College and Mesa College brought their robots to the pool, as well as the La Jolla robotics team, iBotics.
The competition also features a hands-on demonstration for late elementary and middle school students from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 14 through 16.