By Andy Choi
The Robotics Club from the University Of Central Florida (UCF) has designed the Automaton robot, which is capable of communicating, evaluating and navigating. The robot has won the second place in the 19th Annual Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition held at the Oakland University in June, competing with more than 50 teams.
The team members include Jake Carr, a graduate from Santa Fe High School, and a junior studying mechanical engineering at UCF. The competition was divided into four divisions, namely, Design Challenge, Autonomous Challenge, Navigation Challenge and the Joint Architecture for Unmanned Vehicles (JAUS) Challenge.
In the individual divisions, the Automaton stood second in the JAUS challenge and the Navigation Challenge and stood sixth in the Autonomous Challenge. The JAUS challenge involves test of the robot’s communication skills and the Navigation challenge required the robots to reach the destination with the help of a GPS system without colliding with the obstacles. Carr explained that the Autonomous challenge was a combination of all the other challenges, where the robots have to clear an obstacle which was 330 ft long, 1320 ft in length and 240 ft in width. The overall champion was judged based on the time taken and taking quick decisions in crossing over different obstacles without any human intervention.
The UCF team had begun work on the robot last August; Carr took the responsibility of building the external structure of Automaton and helped in preparing a report presentation of their work. He is also a member of the underwater vehicle team of the club