An Overview of MIT-Olin’s Approach in the AUVSI RobotX Competition

TitleAn Overview of MIT-Olin’s Approach in the AUVSI RobotX Competition
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference2015
AuthorsAnderson A, Fischell E, Howe T, Miller T, Parrales-Salinas A, Rypkema N, Barrett D, Benjamin MR, Brennen A, DeFillipo M, Leonard JJ, Paull L, Schmidt H, Wang N, Yaari A
Conference NameField and Service Robotics
Date Published06/2015

The inaugural RobotX competition was held in Singapore in Oct. 2014. The purpose of the competition was to challenge teams to develop new strategies for tackling unique and important problems in marine robotics. The joint team from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Olin College was chosen as one of 15 competing teams from five nations (USA, South Korea, Japan, Singapore and Australia). The team received the surface vehicle platform, the WAM-V (Fig. 1) in Nov. 2013 and spent a year building the propulsion, electronic, sensing, and algorithmic capabilities required to complete the five tasks that included navigation, underwater pinger localization, docking, light sequence detection, and obstacle avoidance. Ultimately the MIT/Olin team narrowly won first place in a competitive field. This paper summarizes our approach to the tasks, as well as some lessons learned in the process. As a result of the competition, we have developed a new suite of open-source tools for feature detection and tracking, realtime shape detection from imagery, bearing-only target localization, and obstacle avoidance