All-Russian competitions in underwater and marine robotics will be held at Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) in 2018. The Foundation for Advanced Research Projects will be the organizer of the large-scale tournament on behalf of the board of the Military Industrial Commission of Russia and the Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin.
“One of the priority areas of FEFU work is underwater robotics, and we have achieved great success there,” says Dmitry Zemtsov, the FEFU Vice President for Development. “Since 2012, a joint team of Robotics Engineers of FEFU and the Far Eastern Branch of RAS annually becomes a prize winner in the class of autonomous robots at the RoboSub world tournament and Singapore AUV Challenge Asian championship. In addition, we launched our own Water Robotic Systems specialization within the framework of the next NTI Olympiad (National Technological Initiative). All this combined with a unique geographical location suggests that FEFU can rightly be considered the main educational center in Russia for underwater and marine robotics.”
Competition, in which students, professional developers, and manufacturers of robotic systems can take part, will take place in several tracks: Autonomous Underwater Vehicles, Autonomous Unmanned Vehicles, and Uncrewed Boats. Members of the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Emergency Situations, the Ministry of Education and Science, the Federal Guard Service, and the National Guard of Russia will also be invited to the tournament.
“There are many tasks that need to be addressed in open maritime areas of Russia—including scientific and technical tasks related to the need to ensure the security of the country, as well as important environmental tasks—for example, monitoring the state of the water area and counteracting poachers. Vast expanses of the sea require constant monitoring, including in the sparsely populated regions of Russia, where the use of appropriate robotic systems has helped to ensure full and continuous monitoring of the state of the ocean,” commented Alexey Kononov, the deputy head of the National Center for the Development of Technology and Basic Elements of Robotics, Foundation for Advanced Research Projects.
According to Alexey Kononov, the All-Russian competition in marine robotics is an effective way to identify interesting teams capable of solving complex scientific and technical problems, and in the future—to implement breakthrough projects. To participate in the competitions, investors, and industrial partners will be attracted who will be able to become co-organizers and sponsors, and subsequently, customers of new scientific and technical projects, attracting winners and finalists who performed the most interesting decisions.
The format of the competition will unite the state, science, and business, both in terms of organizing similar events, and in the further implementation of the results. This will make it possible to use the opportunities of those who professionally deal with or study underwater and marine robotics in a coordinated manner. In addition, the holding of all-Russian competitions with broad information support will attract enthusiastic developers, which will subsequently help them to get involved in interesting projects.
Within the framework of the preparation of the competitions, working meetings were held between the representatives of the National Center for the Development of Technologies and Basic Elements of Robotics, Foundation for Advanced Research Projects, with experts and the management of universities in the Far East region. In the near future, the composition of the organizing committee of the competition will be approved, regulations, selection criteria for participants, requirements for underwater vehicles and uncrewed boats, the stages of the tournament and the venue for them will be determined.