5 May 2015 – Team BumbleBee Underwater Autonomous Vehicle (BBAUV), made up of NUS Computing and Engineering students, once again won first place at the Singapore Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Challenge this year.

The international competition was held at Singapore Polytechnic early march and drew participants from local universities and polytechnics as well as international teams from Russia, China and India.

The School of Computing representatives this year were second year students Alex John (CEG), Gao Bo (CEG) and Tan Soon Jin (CS), fourth year student Yaadhav Raaj (CEG) and alumnus Goh Eng Wei (CEG). Alex and Eng Wei were the leaders for the software and technical sections respectively. Yaadhav, Bo and Soon Jin worked on the robots computer vision. The teams are tasked to design and build individual robots that are able to perform specific tasks underwater, such as following a black line, identifying and dropping a marker into a bucket, identifying and knocking over a flare and localising acoustic pingers and surfacing within the pinger-marked zone. Team BumbleBee managed to complete all required tasks, despite facing some challenges surfacing at the correct zone during the final stretch of the competition.

According to Alex, “The AUV is entirely built and programmed for by students. Our alumni unconditionally helped and encouraged the students during all phases of our development and acted as mentors. We invested time to train our new members, instead of just focusing on winning the competition by using our old code. The new students who joined us had the opportunity to learn our ecosystem, adapt to our testing schedule and deliver their task for the competition, done by themselves. The students got to see their work in action. We had to balance the expectations others had of us as defending champions, and also investing our time and trust in new members to ensure continuity of our team.”

Team BumbleBee will be participating in the 18th Annual International RoboSub Competition in San Diego, California, USA, in July. They placed 5th last year.