NURC National ROV Champion is...

I knew this would happen someday. i didn’t think it would happen so soon.
The school that beat everyone (Universities, high schools, elementary schools and one team of engineers) is Phoenix Country Day School, a junior high school team. Amazing kids. Their high school will have a FRC team next spring!

The scores and awards are here.

You can see the mission set up and a speeded up videoof the Carl Hayden team. Their score was not eligible for consideration since they are the main designers and builders of the competition. Besides, the FIRST Chairman’s Award is enough!

A number of teams were FIRST teams. If you look at the technical documents at, you will see quite a few IFI and VEX controllers with the usual motor speed controllers and spikes.

More videos, pictures and such will be posted on the website over the next few days.

Next year’s competition is already being planned and will be announced in the early fall. Suggestions and questions are welcome.

Here is information from the press release:

Chandler, Arizona

Middle School Team Wins Top Prize at Underwater Robotics Competition

National Underwater Robotics Competition NURC 2008 Awards Prizes to Roboteers of Different Ages, Educational Levels.

The team Blue Tide, a group of junior high students from Phoenix Country Day School in Phoenix, Arizona, was the top winner of the 2nd annual National Underwater Robotics Challenge that took place at Chandler High School, located in Chandler, Arizona, on June 6, 7 and 8, 2008.

The event was open to students from elementary schools to college and professional teams. The underwater mission scenario was complex and exciting. In total, 21 teams from Arizona and California participated in the event.

The first place winner in the pre-high school category was Blue Tide of Phoenix Country Day School. The first place winner in the high school category was Site 3 Engineering of Jesuit High School in California. First place in the college level competition was Flying Goldfish from Embry Riddle University in Prescott, Arizona. The winner of the club/professional category was team Falcon Alumni.

The overall winner was decided by a cumulative score from different categories of judging which included a technical report, oral presentation, mission score, video submission and website submission. The overall winner of the event for the 2008 NURC competition EBOLA OUTBREAK was Blue Tide from Phoenix Country Day School.

A special judge’s award was given to Embry Riddle University for unique design.

The National Underwater Robotics Challenge was web-cast live and was also followed play by play by an audience gathered at the Chandler High Auditorium and five “overflow” rooms. The robots built for the challenge had video and lighting capabilities.

This Challenge took place amid the backdrop of an exciting scenario based on the book “The Hot Zone” and the movie “Outbreak“. The mission for the competition consisted of recovering submerged objects, taking measurements, and decoding underwater acoustic signals in order to stop the advance of an Ebola epidemic. Robots were navigated through a military airplane crash site off the coast of Senegal. The participants’ robots would try to recover vials of serum, the transport’s flight recorder, and the PDA of a world renowned researcher containing valuable scientific data needed to prevent the advance of a world wide pandemic.

The teams piloted their ROV (Remote Operated Vehicles) robots during the night in order to simulate deep sea lighting conditions.

The event also had the generous support of Honeywell Home Town Solutions, AARP, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Chandler High School, The Outback Steak House, Channel 99, ASU Applied Learning Technologies Institute (Alt^I), SEAD, Lights, Camera, Action, Si Se Puede Foundation, among others.

The Blue Tide team was amazing, I’m not surprised they won! congratulations!

We had fun and learned a LOT…our multiple ROV approach seemed to work well, but we suffered from poor camera performance under the very difficult lighting conditions. More testing needed next year.

I’d like to offer a very big THANKS to APASE, Team 842, and all the other volunteers and sponsors who put on this great event.

We are going to have you guys help us design some of the mission props next year. Don’t worry, you will still keep your elligibility. You guys are awsome! By the way, what did happen to your cameras?

Apparently we bought too cheap of cameras - I thought they had a low enough lux level, but the noise level and saturation was out of wack. Oh well, you learn something every year… I guess we’ll have to stop our “cheapest method possible” method when it comes to cameras :wink: