Congratulations to UF’s NaviGator AMS team, winner of the 2016 Maritime RobotX Challenge ( in Hawaii. See and for more info.

UF’s Team NaviGator AMS, winner of the 2016 Maritime RobotX Challenge in Oahu, Hawaii

RoboBoat 2017

We are not planning to compete in 2017, but expect to be back in 2018.  
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UF recognized for outreach

While we the boat did not perform as well as we had hoped, we did earn an award for the outreach the team conducted.  PropaGator has been displayed at museums, art galleries, and even First Robotic events with the intention of educating the public about robotics as well as inspiring future engineers.  In addition to that, team member Dan Frank’s outreach using Sea Perch kits with Citizen Potawatomi Nation and organizing a FLL and general stem outreach with Navajo Nation was recognized.
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Testing the new version of Solid Works

Dan was having fun this morning with the new version of Solid Works.  He thought that everyone would appreciate it.  Reminds me of Pirates of the Caribbean.
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First day in Lake Alice

Yesterday we spent about eight hours in the Lake dodging alligators and testing our boat’s controller software.  Zach has been tirelessly working on the thruster mapper, PD controller, and low level path planner.  Every day we are in the water, the boat shows significant improvement in controllability.  Four of the hours were spent on mobility while the other four were spent on recording LIDAR and camera data.  We’re really lucky to have access to Lake Alice on campus.  The size and
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Back in the Pool

PropaGator 2 is back in the water.  Today we tested the low level path planner.  The boat is able to stay within a small area, but oscillates and struggles to maintain it’s heading while stationary.  Much of the oscillations were due to controller gains that needed to be tuned.  In addition to the controller, we tested out our passive sonar with a ultrasonic pinger.  The sonar works well when the boat is stationary.  We also recorded a handful of videos of the parking symbols for vision al
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Atlanta Aquarium

“The 2015 AUVSI conference at the Atlanta Aquarium was sweet!”  -Matt (Look at what he is eating)
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AUVSI Conference 2015!!!!

The AUVSI Foundation allowed us to show off our boat and sub at the 2015 AUVSI conference held in Atlanta!  PropaGator 2 and SubjuGator 7 attracted quite a crowd every day.  The team was peppered with questions on how we controlled our vehicles, how we made our platforms, what types of batteries we used, and many more.  By the end of the 3 day event, most of us had lost our voices.  We’re looking forward to the 2016 conference. On the last day of the conference, Dan and I gave tours to loc
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Pond testing

  PropaGator 2 can station hold with the new thruster mapper!!!! The team spent Saturday at the local pond testing the boat.  Our primary focus was on making the boat controllable and we succeeded (sort of).  After a few hours in the water, PropaGator was able to move in the desired directions and resist external disturbances (wind, rope pull) by using its thrusters.  However, the thruster mapper is still producing solutions that are not achievable by the boat (1000 newtons of thrust ect
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New thruster mapper

We’re taking a different approach to controls this year.  After reading Fossen’s paper (recommended by Patrick Walters), Jacob applied a nonlinear controller to the boat’s azimuth drive.  The thruster mapper finds the optimal orientation of the thrusters and calculates the amount of thrust to move the boat along any vector. We took the boat to a local pool and began testing Jacob’s controller.  First we tested the remote control node (which worked well after an hour of te
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