Pratt’s Underwater Turtle-Bot Takes 3rd Place

The Duke Robotics Club placed third in a field of 12 in the 6th International Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Competition in August in San Diego. In taking third, the club scored a noteworthy victory over the team from MIT, which placed fourth.

The Pratt club’s robot, Gamera, is a 30-inch wide autonomous assembly of electrical motors, computers and batteries named after a giant flying turtle that starred in a Japanese monster movie. The Pratt robot’s most turtle-like qualities are the four flipper-shaped appendages on each corner of its X-shaped body.

This year’s competition required the vehicles to swim under a submerged
gate, locate a lighted arrow on the floor of a pond and swim in the
direction of that arrow to locate a "target" -- a series of three platforms
stacked on each other. The vehicle was ultimately to drop a marker on the
platform.

Cornell took first place and Ecole de technologie superieure of Montreal placed second.

The competition was sponsored by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International and the U.S. Office of Naval Research.

Gamera is now three years old and was developed under the supervision of
Jason Janet, adjunct assistant professor in ECE. This year’s student team
is led by Shawn Haigh and also consists of Richard Bouchard, Ethan Eade,
Matthew Raubach and Chris Boston.