AT the 2016 Maritime RobotX Challenge held in Hawaii, the Bumblebee team was ranked 4th worldwide. It was the only finalist that had less than four months to work on its Autonomous Surface Vessel (ASV), as well as the only one with a full undergraduate team.
From day one, the team faced various challenges, ranging from strong winds and currents, to ensuring sensors (such as LIDAR and GPS) worked accurately, and dealing with hardware damaged by the unfamiliar rocky sea conditions; four of the vehicle’s thrusters and propellers were damaged. Despite the challenges and very little sleep, the team came together quickly to overcome the issues.
Steven Harta Prawira, 2016 RobotX Team Captain, shared, “The result makes it easy to forget all the challenges that we had to overcome to get to where we are today. The team, as well as the supporting crew and organisations in Singapore, worked tirelessly to help us attain our goal. The team and I are humbled by the overwhelming support, and we will do better for the next competition.”
Team Bumblebee has been flying the NUS flag at autonomous underwater vehicle competitions since 2013, namely Robosub and Singapore AUV Challenge, and are seeking funding to continue engineering autonomous systems. They hope to complete an upgrade to the AUV, to undertake a redesign of the ASV based on the lessons learnt, and to deliver an integrated and fully automated Launch and Recovery system for the AUV for the ASV by RobotX 2018.