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Student Competition Overview

Real Robotics

Each year the AUVSI Foundation’s RoboNation offers a series of educational programs and robotics competitions that allow students to apply their STEM education outside the classroom.

The experience is so effective at preparing students for entering the workforce that participants are often awarded coveted internship and employment opportunities while still in school.

To learn more about sponsoring or recruiting at any or all of these events, please contact Andrea Ansell at


Air Competitions

The longest-running collegiate aerial robotics challenge in the world, IARC advances state-of-the-art in autonomous aerial robotic behavior through international teams creating fully autonomous flying robots that demonstrate behaviors never before demonstrated while completing missions with real world applications. 

2016 International Aerial Robotics Competition (IARC): August 2-4, 2016. Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA.

Student Eligibility:

Undergraduate, Graduate

Students research, design, integrate, and demonstrate an unmanned aerial system capable of autonomous flight and navigation, remote imaging and communication, and execution of a specific set of tasks including Sense, Detect and Avoid of stationary and moving obstacles. 

2016 Student Unmanned Aerial Systems Competition (SUAS): June 15-19, 2016. Webster Field, Patuxent River, MD.

Congratulations to the 2016 Top 5 Overall Winners:

1st Place – Université de Sherbrooke
2nd Place – Cornell University
3rd Place – North Carolina State University
4th Place – Technion ‐ Israel Institute of Technology
5th Place – M.S. Ramaiah Institute of Technology

Judges’ Special Awards:

Best Overall Rotary Wing – École de Technologié Supérieure (Montréal), Dronolab
Best Overall High School – Flint Hill School
Dr. Arthur Reyes Safety Award – Munich University of Applied Sciences, Student Aviation
JustJoe Sportsmanship Award – Christopher Newport University (CNU) IMPRINT
Dawn Jaeger Tenacity Award – Northern India Engineering College, New Delhi
Cyber Security Award (New) – University of California, Riverside

Student Eligibility:

High School, Undergraduate, Graduate

Land Competitions

Undergrad and graduate students compete to design, power and construct an intelligent ground vehicle that can follow lanes, detect obstacles, and follow waypoint navigation. The team competition teaches electrical, mechanical and computer science engineering, and awards monetary prizes.

2017 Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition (IGVC): June 2-5, 2017. Oakland University, Rochester, MI.

Congratulations to the 2016 Grand Award Winner:
Lawrence Technological University!

For more information, visit the IGVC competition website.

Student Eligibility:

Undergraduate, Graduate

Maritime Competitions

Student teams design autonomous, robotic boats to navigate and race through an aquatic obstacle course. The behaviors demonstrated by these boats mimic tasks that are being developed for coastal surveillance, port security and other types of oceanographic operations.

2016 International RoboBoat Competition: July 4-10, 2016. Founders Inn and Spa, Virginia Beach, VA

Congratulations to the RoboBoat‬ Winners!
1st: Georgia Institute of Technology ($10,000)
2nd: Florida Atlantic University ($4,000)
3rd: Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (Indonesia) ($2,500)
4th: Daytona Beach Homeschoolers ($1,500)
5th: Universitas Indonesia
6th: University of Michigan
7th: University of Ulsan
8th: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Special Awards
"Spare Parts – Be Prepared": University of Ulsan ($1,000)
"Savitsky Award for Speed & Maneuverability": Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember ($500)
"Digital Twin: Modeling and Simulation": Georgia Institute of Technology ($500)

Student Eligibility:

Middle School, High School, Undergraduate, Graduate

Student-designed-and-built autonomous robotic submarines must complete a difficult series of visual- and acoustic-based tasks in this popular international competition.  These tasks simulate the work required of robotic subs in many facets of underwater activity. 

2016 International RoboSub Competition: July 25-31, 2016. SSC Pacific TRANSDEC. San Diego, CA.

Student Eligibility:

Middle School, High School, Undergraduate, Graduate

The Maritime RobotX Challenge is an international team competition uniquely designed to evolve into a multi-platform competition to include maritime, aerial and submersible tasks to broaden students’ exposure to robotics applications and technologies. 

2016 International Maritime RobotX Challenge: December 11-18, 2016. Sand Island, Oahu, Hawaii.

Student Eligibility:

High School, Undergraduate, Graduate

After following the curriculum to create an underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) from the SeaPerch kit, student teams earn the right to compete nationally by winning their local and regional SeaPerch Challenges. These teams will gather to test what they have learned by putting their SeaPerch ROVs through a series of underwater challenges, and will showcase their design in a juried poster competition.

2016 National SeaPerch Challenge: May 20-22, 2016. Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA.

Student Eligibility:

Middle School, High School