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


Using a highly trained Parrot, PropaGator can now be controlled by a bird.
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Mission Accomplished!

PropaGator came in first in the RoboBoat competition!!!
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Bad weather coming

The objective today was to maneuver through the buoy channel.  After a few runs and a tangled tether, PropaGator was able to pass through several pairs of buoys.  After completing a pass through one of the channels, PropaGator transited to the Sneaky Sprinkler challenge.  We wanted to confirm our offset for the polycarbonate plate was correct (yesterday the boat was centering on the button missing contact by inches).  Due to the foul weather rolling in, our GPS fix dropped out during several run
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RoboBoat 2013 day 2

We had the boat in the water for almost five hours today.  We managed six runs and spent an hour and a half in the testing box.  Most of our time was spent on the sneaky sprinkler and improving our GPS point movements.  Our time paid off because we had a successful run hitting one of the buttons autonomously.  Also, our waypoint navigation was improved. Tomorrow we’ll be focusing on the channel navigation.
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First day of in water testing

This morning we walked around the pond inspecting the challenge stations.  What surprised us the most was the small size of the landing platform.  The platform was much smaller than we thought it would be.  Looking at pictures and paper drawings is one thing, seeing it in person is another. While we had a safe drive up from Gainesville, the drive threw off our hardware settings making our LIDAR overlay skewed.  We had to re-calibrate our LIDAR angles and conduct our hard soft calibration or what
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Final platform for aircraft

Originally we were going to waterproof a FlameWheel frame for the quadcopter.  But because we are out of time, the team decided to punt and purchase a waterproof frame: Aquacopter.  The quad can now be briefly submerged without risk of damaging electronics.  Today we flew it remotely for the first time.  Next, the camera will be installed and our launch and recover software finalized.  If this works, we expect to have it operational by Friday.
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Last pool day in Gainesville

While our challenge runs didn’t run as well as Thursday, our state machine performed well.  Passing GPS coordinates to PropaGator, the boat was able to proceed to the give points from anywhere in the pool.  Once it reached the first point, the boat attempted the challenge and then moved to the next point.  Changing cloud cover caused some issues with our vision system resulting in poor challenge performance.  Our software team is looking into controlling the light exposure using software.
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Another great day at the pool

After connecting the batteries, we didn’t have to open the reactor cores once until our pool time was over.  We have a great day at the UF pool today.  PropaGator was able to repeatably hit the sneaky sprinkler button autonomously.  The boat was place at different angles from different distances and could still reliable bump the kill button.  Next our dart launcher was tested.  From 20 feet we had a 20 percent success rate initially.  Adjusting the boat’s behavior, we were able to em
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Loaded for bear

We had one of the best test days ever today.  Prior to arriving to the pool, we started up the computer so we had a GPS fix before the boat even touched the water.  Next we were able to autonomously identify the push button from the sneaky sprinkler challenge and driving into the challenge plate.  After a few runs, we switched to the shoot through the hoop challenge.  We discovered that wet darts do not fire as well as dry ones.  However, PropaGator was able to identify the hoops and fire in the
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