July 31st was the start for the Fifth Annual International Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Competition. This year’s competition involves completely autonomous robots locating and reading bar codes at various depths underwater at a naval base in San Diego. There are some good links on the site to individual competitors’ websites to see how different schools tackled the same problem.

The goals of this competition are to challenge a new generation of engineers to design and build autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) capable of performing realistic missions in the underwater environment, and to foster ties between young engineers and the organizations developing AUV technologies.