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Fall 2003

Spock's Nightmare Called 'Most Bang for the Buck'

Spock's Nightmare: the 2003 Virginia Tech entry in the international AUV competition.
A Virginia Tech student team won the $1,000 Most Bang for the Buck Award in August with its first entry in an international AUV competition sponsored by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle systems International and the Office of Naval Research.

The contest required that vehicles swim under a submerged gate in a large test basin, locate a lighted arrow at the bottom, and swim in the direction of that arrow to locate a target, which was a series of three platforms stacked on top of each other. The vehicle was to drop a marker on the platform.

Although the Tech team received high marks for creativity, technical difficulties prevented the vehicle from qualifying. The team repaired the vehicle and it eventually operated as designed. Cornell's team won first place in the competition.

The vehicle was designed and built by an interdisciplinary team composed of aerospace, ocean, electrical, computer, mechanical, and industrial engineers, as well as students studying computer science, business and marketing. ECE students on the team included Robert McNeal (BSEE '03), Earl Wong (BSEE '03), and William Trainor, III (BSCPE '03). Faculty advisors are Craig Woolsey (AOE) and Dan Stilwell (ECE).

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Last updated: Tue, Nov 4, 2003