SUSTech students succeed in underwater robot contest


Earlier this month, Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) sent its first student team to compete in the 12th International Underwater Robot Competition, this year hosted by Shanghai Maritime University. The team won 6 prizes in total, four 2nd prizes and two 3rd prizes.

7 students from the Departments of Mechanical & Energy Engineering (MEE), Ocean Science & Engineering (OSE) and Mechanics & Aerospace Engineering (MAE) made up the SUSTech team. Students from the classes of 2020 to 2022 worked together under the tutelage of Professor Zhang Wei (MEE) and Yang Ting (OSE)


The competition had many different smaller competitions, and the SUSTech team competed mostly in the unmanned autonomous robot category. This competition mostly involved avoiding obstacle, search for specific items, image recognition and analysis, and underwater motion control.


SUSTech teams competing in finding the sources of water pollution, tracking targets, developing robotic fish and detecting specific pH values all won second prizes. Other teams won third prizes for finding the surface source of water pollution and investigating port areas. The SUSTech team also won the prize for being the best organization.


As a debut team, the team encountered many problems and challenges while preparing for the competition. Their teamwork saw them work together and apply their technical knowledge, while broadening their horizons in robotics. They also spoke to their fellow students from other competing universities, picking up and swapping ideas with each other.


The International Underwater Robot Competition is an international contest sponsored by the International League of Underwater Robots (ILUR) supported by both the UNESCO Industry-University Cooperative Education & the Ministry of Education’s Innovative Education Method Steering Committee.


Previous competitions have seen high attendances by students, faculty members and the general public, who are all intrigued to see the development of underwater and submarine robots for the benefit of society. This competition has developed into a global platform for underwater robots, while building networks for students and scholars to learn from each other.


More than 200 teams from over 50 universities from mainland China and around the world participated in this year’s competition, including universities from the United States, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.