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The joint team of Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) and the Institute of Marine Technology Problems of the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (FEB RAS) won the open Asia Underwater Robotics Championship - Singapore AUV Challenge-2019, which was held at the Singapore Polytechnic Institute from March 8 to March 11. 35 teams from India, Indonesia, Japan, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong and Macao, Thailand, Taiwan, Malaysia, Kenya, Turkey and Russia fought for the victory. Only 16 of them managed to pass the qualifying stage and compete in the finals of the competition.
The winning team includes Master’s Degree students of the FEFU School of Data Economy Andrei Makhlyarchuk, Alexander Zhikhareva, Nikita Utin, Alexey Shchurov, as well as Bachelor’s Degree students of the FEFU School of Engineering Ivan Chemezov and Vadim Saburov. Mentors for them were representatives of FEB RAS Alexander Pavin, Grigory Eliseenko and Maxim Sporyshev.
In the final, the Russian team won competitors from the Bogor Agricultural University of Indonesia, Northwestern Polytechnic University of China, the City University of Hong Kong and the Mukesh Patel School of Technology and Management India - national teams of listed educational organizations took the first, second and third places respectively.
In Singapore, Russian students presented a device called “Pandora”. It was prepared specifically for the championship. The robot is able to perform various functions under water, in particular, to recognize individual objects with the help of eye-video cameras, to carry loads, to lift and drop them in a certain place. During the finals, the intelligent machine, using only its own “vision,” “completed” all tasks set by the organizers without contact with the person: it overcame a given distance in the pool, went through the gate and found a pinger - an ultrasonic underwater beacon.
“We were very worried about the result, but we managed to get ready and showed ourselves well during the test launches. Even then it was clear that only three or four teams would fight for the first place. As a result, our team scored the most points and outpaced competitors”, said Maxim Sporyshev.
Underwater robotics is one of the priorities for the development of Far Eastern Federal University. In this area, the university has international prestige, which is confirmed by successful performances of students and graduate students at prestigious competitions. Since 2012, the FEFU team annually becomes a prize winner in the class of autonomous robots at the world RoboSub tournaments and at the Asian Championships in the Singapore AUV Challenge.