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Competition Central

Established by the Association for Unmanned Vehicles Systems International, the AUVSI Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides students with hands-on robotics activities designed to fuel and sustain their interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Each year the AUVSI Foundation offers a series of educational programs as well as robotics competitions that allow students to apply their STEM education outside the classroom. The experience is ideal preparation for entering the workforce, which is why participating students are frequently offered coveted internship and employment opportunities while still in school. Since the competitions began in 1991, more than $1.4 million has been awarded in prize money. 

6th National SeaPerch Challenge
May 20-22, 2016
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 
Each year, middle and high school students from across the country gather to compete in the National SeaPerch Challenge. During the National SeaPerch Challenge, student teams must demonstrate the capabilities of the SeaPerches they have built as they navigate through an underwater obstacle course. Teams also display posters and deliver oral presentations about their design philosophy and construction challenges before a panel of judges. SeaPerch is an easy to assemble, underwater ROV (remotely operated vehicle) which is built from a kit, making it a great entry point for students interested in robotics. 

24th Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition (IGVC)

June 3-6, 2016

Oakland University

Rochester, MI

Created in 1993, the IGVC challenges student teams to develop an autonomous ground vehicle that can navigate a complex list of mobility, design, and interoperable architecture requirements. Based on product realization, it is multi-disciplinary, theory-based, hands-on, team implemented, and outcome assessed. It encompasses the very latest technologies impacting industrial development and taps subjects of high interest to students. Design and construction of an Intelligent Vehicle fits well in a two-semester senior year capstone course or an extra curricular activity earning a design credit.

Student Unmanned Aerial Systems Competition (SUAS)
June 15-19, 2016
Webster Field
Patuxent River, MD
The AUVSI SUAS Competition is designed to foster interest in Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), stimulate interest in UAS technologies and careers, and to engage students in a challenging UAS mission. The competition requires students to design, integrate, report on, and demonstrate a UAS capable of autonomous flight and navigation, remote sensing via onboard payload sensors, and execution of a specific set of tasks.  The SUAS competition has been held annually at Webster Field, Maryland since 2002.

9th International RoboBoat Competition

July 4 - 10, 2016

Founders Inn and Spa

Virginia Beach, VA

The International RoboBoat Competition was first held in 2008. In it, student teams race autonomous surface vehicles (ASVs) of their own design through an aquatic obstacle course. This includes littoral area navigation, channel following, and autonomous docking. It is typically accomplished with computer vision, multi-sensor fusion techniques, proactive and reactive path planning, and machine learning approaches using embedded systems within the vehicle. The competition provides an opportunity for students to develop skills in system engineering by accomplishing realistic missions with autonomous vehicles in the maritime environment. 


19th International RoboSub Competition
July 25 - 31, 2016
San Diego, CA
Since 1998, the RoboSub competition has advanced the development of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) by challenging a new generation of engineers to perform realistic missions in a demanding underwater environment. The primary emphases of the competition are education and career preparation. Students gain an appreciation for the trade-offs inherent in any system design as well as lessons learned in transitioning from working bench prototype to operating reliably in the real world.


25th International Aerial Robotics Competition (IARC)

August 2016
Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta VA, USA

Beijing/Miyun, China

The AUVSI International Aerial Robotics Competition, now in its 25th year, involves the development of sophisticated aerial robots attempting a never-before-achieved mission to fly indoors to covertly search for and retrieve a specific target.  Key to the Competition mission is that these flying robots are fully autonomous "thinking" machines.  There will be no humans controlling the robots.  They must avoid obstacles, navigate, and search for the target item without any human intervention or use of GPS navigation aides.  Currently there is no aerial robot in existence that can perform the mission goals as stated in the Official Rules. The first team to achieve these behaviors will be moving the state of the art in aerial robotic behavior forward while providing validation of a militarily-significant mission.


Maritime RobotX Challenge
December 11 - 18
Oahu, Hawaii
The AUVSI Foundation and the U.S. Office of Naval Research are proud to announce that the 2nd Maritime RobotX Challenge (RobotX) will be held on the island of Oahu, Hawaii in December 2016. RobotX is designed to foster student interest in autonomous robotics system operating in the maritime domain, with an emphasis on the science and engineering of autonomy. The knowledge and experience these students gain will be invaluable in contributing to the growing area of oceanographic and maritime exploration. For more information on RobotX - including videos, photos, and results from the 2014 competition - and to join the online community discussing the 2016 event, visit


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