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

UF Stakeholders Dinner

The Engineering Department of the University of Florida held a stakeholders dinner to acknowledge supporting alumni.  We were proud to represent the departments of mechanical engineering and electrical and computer engineering with the display of our boat.  After the two hour dinner, we had a chance to talk to 40-50 donors.
Continue Reading →

Beat Missouri!

Today, a group of team members from the Machine Intelligence Lab headed down to our campus lawn for the engineering tail gate.  We set up several tents and put our lab projects on display.  PropaGator and our sister team SubjuGator answered questions and explained our projects to several hundred students and alumni.  The weather couldn’t have been better!            
Continue Reading →

Harn Museum Night 2014 Boat Show

We were invited again to show off the boat at the Harn Museum this year.  Positioned at the entrance of the museum, everyone who came to the event got a chance to see the boat.  The team was asked questioned that ranged from “Is this a weapon?” to “What algorithm do you use to detect the buoys?”.  It was fun to talk with the public (~500 visitors) about our lab and the projects have built.  Hopefully we inspired some young engineers!
Continue Reading →

PropaGator/SubjuGator Information Meeting Fall 2014

Interested in joining the Machine Intelligence Lab and working on our projects?  We’re having a meeting on Friday, September 5th, at 6:15 PM in NPB 1001.  It’s open to any interested students.  The full flyer can be found here. “Join us for an information session on the University of Florida SubjuGator and PropaGator projects. We will discuss the results of last year’s competitions and explore the current problems we are interested in solving over the next year.  In addition, t
Continue Reading →

Making Space in the Lab

After the dust settled from the summer competitions, we looked around our lab and realized that our lab was a mess.  All of the tables were either covered in parts or had a marine robot on top.  During the cleaning process, several team members decided that it would be a good idea to suspend the boats from the ceiling.  We looked up plans on building a pulley hoist system and applied them to our lab projects.  Three weeks later, our boat mold, prototype, and two hulls have been suspended from th
Continue Reading →

More than meets the eye

We had a PropaGator fan give her interpretation of the boat as a superhero (or supervillain).   Should PropaGator actually be a transformer, in the transformed mode, the boat would look like the following picture. Notice the LIDAR mounted on the head with the two hubless thrusters on the shoulders.  Also, it’s hard to miss the gator-skin hull design.  And PropaGator’s secret weapon?  The yellow buoy that the boat “ate” during the 2014 RoboBoat competition!  Thanks to Sydn
Continue Reading →

An unexpected visitor

Today, at Lake Alice, we had an unexpected visitor.  During the testing of our second hull (see video below), a baby alligator stopped by to say hello. The new hull is propelled by a student designed hubless propeller.  To turn the propeller, we are using a 1200 watt brushless motor.  Our second hull performed well with a top speed of 12.5 mph.  However, after running it full speed for 5 minutes, we experienced an electrical failure in the port thruster.  The failure caused us to place the boat
Continue Reading →

Testing in the Florida Pool

Today, we deployed the boat for the first time with its new paint job.  We painted the boat black to see how hot the the internals would become.  The outside temperature was aroun 95 F.  We found that the boat’s ambient temperature plateaued around 113F with the CPU at 145F.  While the boat was able to operate under the high temperature, we decided that it would be safer to open the top and allow the electronics to “breathe”. In addition to the temperature test, we tested our n
Continue Reading →

The boat is in one piece!

After hundreds of man hours, we have finally been able to begin assembling the boat.  Both halves were mated together with small strips of fiberglass.  Once the strips hardened, a fiberglass seam was rolled on the inside of the hull.  The seam held the two halves together and ensured that the water tight integrity of the boat was maintained.          
Continue Reading →