The team of Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) and the Institute of Marine Technology Problems, Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (FEB RAS IMTP) won the Singapore Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Challenge (SAUVC), having taken first place among university and polytechnic student teams from 10 countries: Russia, China, India, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Egypt, Pakistan, United States, and Sweden.
The competition was held from 10th to 13th of March at Singapore Polytechnic (SP). Technical universities from Russia, China, India, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Egypt, Pakistan, United States, and Sweden fought for a victory. The only Russian AUV was the fastest among 28 vehicles: the combined FEFU and FEB RAS team, together with the team of the Center for Advanced Studies in Engineering from Pakistan, were recognized as joint winners in the fastest completion of tasks. Northwestern Polytechnical University, China, became the leader as the team with maximum tasks accomplished.
“We have been able to show the best time due to more efficient use of robot engines and a better tuned control system,” said Maxim Sporyshev, the FEFU team captain, post-graduate student at the School of Engineering. “Many teams are afraid to run their AUV quickly because they do not cope with the precise controls at speed. We took a chance and are very pleased that everything turned out OK.”
In carrying out a mission in the competition, robots without human contact were supposed to swim through a 150-cm high gate, to discover a target that emitted acoustic signals and underwent other tests related to the orientation under the water. To participate in the Singapore AUV Challenge, FEFU and FEB RAS robotics engineers modernized the 28-kilogram vehicle Junior, which proved worthy in the same competitions in 2016 and took second place then. For two months, programmers and engineers upgraded it to perform a new mission, updated the software, and tested it in the pool.
“This victory once again confirms the world leadership of the FEFU robotics and the readiness of our young scientists to carry out the most complex research and application tasks for the country and for the development of the Far East,” said Nikita Anisimov, FEFU Interim President.
Underwater Robotics is one of the priority areas of the Far East Federal University development. The university has achieved international standing in this area, which is confirmed by the successful performance of students and post-graduate students in the prestigious competitions. Starting from 2012, the FEFU team each year has become the prize-winner of the International RoboSub Competitions and Singapore AUV Challenges.
Since 2017, Far East Federal University has also been involved in the development of the federal program for the continuing education and technical creativity of children and young people in underwater robotics for the Quantorium Network of Children's Technoparks.