Fostering marine robotics through competitions: from SAUC-E to ERL Emergency 2018
Marine robotics competitions and challenges are today very popular in the robotics community. Their value mainly lies in the opportunities they provide to teams (both student and professional) for developing and testing their robots in real world scenarios. Robotics competition can be divided into two categories: student competitions and Grand Challenges. The Grand Challenges provide difficult technical challenges to push research groups. On the other hand, student competitions are more focused on the training perspective. Student robotics competitions are the perfect driver to push students to experiment what they have learned at school in realistic conditions. In this way they are the best complement to the academic curriculum, where often the hands-on experience is lacking. Furthermore, they also boost the non-technical skills from management to team work since these skills are essential to succeed. The Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE) strongly shares this view and has been organising competitions since 2010. CMRE has fostered the growth of many students along the years. In this paper, we will analyse first the competitions we have organised along the years and the performance of the participating teams presenting several case studies. The broader impact of competitions in the field of robotics and on the general public will also be briefly discussed. We believe this is the key point to guarantee the competition periodicity and sustainability over the years.
SourceIn: OCEANS 2018 MTS/IEEE Charleston, 22-25 October 2018, doi: 10.1109/OCEANS.2018.8604580