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

2015 FRC Orlando, Go Roaring Riptides!

We took the boat with us to the 2015 Orlando First Robotics Competition.  Matt and I drove the boat and sub down south to show off some of our lab’s projects to the public.  Of all the public outreach events we’ve ever done, FRC Orlando got us the most visibility.  Matt and I must have talked to hundreds people (both of our voices were hoarse at the end of the day). Dan and Dr. Crane sponsor P. K. Younge team 4118 the Roaring Riptides.  So of course we were biased in who we wanted to
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Propagator Testing – Graham Pool

The much awaited first in-water test of this semester took place on Sunday, February 15th, at the Graham Pool. With the prime focus on Propagator software, the controller on the boat was tested. From starboard side leaks to ESC programming and reprogramming, lidar servo troubleshooting and GPS , we saw and overcame a handful of such issues while testing in water. It was a little windy which caused the boat to drift. Testing the software, we saw that the current holonomic controller faced several
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Fluid dynamic bearing research

We’ve been doing some research on fluid dynamic bearings for our new thrusters.  One of our team members found a really cool video demonstrating how a spinning shaft can create pressure to allow the shaft to “float on air”.  This is a key principle in our next thruster design.  Using water instead of air, we plan on “levitating” our propeller thus eliminating the need for bearings.
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SeaPerch kits complete!

The Oklahoma tribe completed their SeaPerch kits this week.  They’re expecting to compete with other schools in the next few months.                
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FLL Navajo Nation

In an effort to increase interest in S.T.E.M. related fields among Native youth, Team PropaGator helped start two FIRST Lego League (FLL) robotics team on the Navajo Nation in Arizona. On November 15th 2014, one of those teams, “Electro Mutton Nation,” traveled two hours to compete in the Winslow High School FLL Qualifying Tournament. Their robot’s first run did not go well, but they stayed positive and were rewarded because their robot’s performance got better and better
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Boat Maintenance

After several collisions with the shore, we noticed that the aluminum propeller frames were slightly bent. The team did some research and found that if we used a different grade of aluminum, we could make the frame more rigid. After using a water jetting machine to cut the new aluminum, we spent the morning replacing the 6061 aluminum with the new 7075 parts. As preventative maintenance, we also replaced the 6 bearings on each thruster.
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PropaGator Team Member Recognized in CPN Website

Due to the outreach that Team PropaGator was performing on the Navajo Nation in AZ, they were awarded five SeaPerch (robot submarine) kits at AUVSI’s 7th Annual RoboBoat Competition last July. The team decided to use these kits to further expand their S.T.E.M. outreach to Native students by donating them to Citizen Potawatomi Nation in Oklahoma.  The tribe just received the kits and judging by the smiles on their students’ faces, we think that they’ve found a good home: http://
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PropaGator Showcased on UF’s Home Page!

Earlier this week, our boat was featured on the University of Florida home page!  We’re honored to bring recognition to our supporting departments and advisers.
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FAV Summit 2014

We were invited to the Florida Autonomous Vehicles (2014) Summit 2014 during Christmas break.  FAV 2014 was an attempt by the Florida Department of Transportation to spread knowledge about autonomous vehicles and what the state of Florida is capable of producing: “Florida DOT is blazing the trail for the integration of automated vehicles into existing traffic operations and leading by example with pilot projects, research projects, and open dialogue to ensure that Florida serves as a ferti
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