Boatloads of Fun at the 17th Annual RoboBoat Competition

The Giving Coast

Pictured: Clifford the Big Red Boat is one of 19 boats competing in the 17th Annual RoboBoat Competition this week. Photo by Barbie Heit.

This week, RoboNation, a nonprofit organization on a mission to provide hands-on robotics education is conducting the 17th Annual RoboBoat Competition at Nathan Benderson Park (NBP) in Sarasota. Nineteen student teams from around the world are visiting our region from February 5 – 11 to showcase their autonomous robotic boats in the exciting event. This marks the third year RoboBoat will be held at Nathan Benderson Park, highlighting the valued partnership with the park and the greater Sarasota community.

Competing teams have spent the last year designing and building self-driving robotic boats. During the competition, the boats will have to complete a series of tasks testing acoustic navigation, sensing, speed, object recognition, and more. Returning champion Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (Barunastra ITS) from Indonesia is joining a diverse field of university and high-performing high school teams. One such school is Cornell University, competing with the team's boat, Clifford the Big Red Boat. Named after the school’s unofficial mascot, the Big Red Bear, the school’s boat was designed and manufactured by 55 team members from all different years and backgrounds at the school.

“Clifford has a camera and uses gps and a compass for functionality and IT then uses that information to plan intelligent paths,” shares team member Joanna Lin. “We are just super excited to be here–Go Red!” adds Amelia Kovacs.

"In terms of education and workforce development, hands-on programs like the RoboBoat competition are very valuable. RoboNation is helping bridge the gap between the lessons students are learning in the classroom and the real world, positioning these students as ideal candidates to meet the demands of the global workforce,” stated Lindsey Groark, Vice President of Programs.

The RoboBoat Competition is open to the public from 9:00am to 5:00 pm February 5 – 11. RoboBoat Finals will take place on February 11, 2024, with the exact times to be determined.

Pictured: Clifford the Big Red Boat is one of 19 boats competing in the 17th Annual RoboBoat Competition this week. Photo by Barbie Heit.

For more information click here

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