Recently members from the Hallett Cove Robotics Club travelled under the name of the Sea Dragons to Baton Rouge in Louisiana, USA. to compete in the U.S. National Sea Perch Challenge (more on the Sea Dragons/Sea Perch here). Rosy, Lucas, Patrick, Cameron, David, Trevor, Lance, Tom, Flynn and Heath from the club have spent many weeks building, testing, modifying and preparing their Sea Perch submersible vehicles for the event. Heath, Lance, Flynn and Tom travelled to the competition, with many remaining members following their progress via a live stream (watch the pre-recorded live stream here).
The competition had nearly two hundred teams from across the United States participating in a series of challenges. Our two teams, AUSV Searcher (Heath and Lance) and VACUUM (Tom and Flynn) were in the “Open Class” alongside another 25 teams from across the USA. The “Open Class” allows teams virtually unlimited scope to modify their Sea Perches. Our teams’ big expense was a custom built control box which allowed speed control on the Sea Perch motors. This meant that we could control our vehicles very precisely.
The overall results saw VACUUM place 5th, and AUSV Searcher place equal 6th.
The team conducted themselves very well overall, and were a credit to the club. Many contacts and relationships were started with other robotics clubs in the U.S. as a result of our participation.
The team members went on to explore other places of interest while in the U.S. including a visit to the NASA Johnson Space Centre, California Academy of Science, The Computer History Museum and USS Midway Museum.