Current & Past Competitions

The competition’s primary goal is to increase student interest in autonomous robotic systemsoperating in the maritime domain. Emphasis is placed on systems engineering and the science and engineering of autonomy.  The Maritime RobotX Challenge will stimulate innovative approaches to autonomous sensing, on-board decision-making, and mission implementation.  It will promote international endeavors in science and technology among the Pacific region communities.

Previously, three teams from each of five Pacific Rim countries (United States, Singapore, Australia, South Korea and Japan) competed to demonstrate whose systems’ architecture reigns supreme in the maritime environment. For the upcoming RobotX 2016 competition, entrance is being opened to student teams from anywhere in the world. Each team will acquire a 16 ft. WAM-V standard hull, and will work with an industry partner to bring their system architecture to life. The focus of this challenge will be sensors, software, propulsion and their integration to allow successful navigation of the competition course. 



Honolulu, hawaii

December 2016



October 2014

Competition Overview

The Maritime RobotX Challenge serves as a capstone robotics competitions. Teams are to develop Autonomous Surface Vehicle (ASV) platforms to complete a variety of tasks.

In the previous RobotX Challenge, as well as the RoboBoat and RoboSub competitions, tasks were to be completed serially or independently. Very rarely did the individual tasks build upon each other, and typically they were each a single challenge.

This year's RobotX Challenge serves as a departure from this formula. Teams will be provided with access to several in-water practice/qualifying areas for each task. Teams may qualify for the semi-finals by completing individual tasks.

For the Semi-final and Final rounds, several of the individual tasks will be combined into a final course. This course will require execution of multiple individual tasks, in certain combination, to complete the overall mission. In other words, teams can qualify and practice with the individual tasks leading up to the Semi-final and Final rounds, but to win, they have to bring it all together.

The final addition to this RobotX Challenge will be the requirement for teams to construct a System of Systems (SoS), consisting of craft operating in multiple domains. The WAM-V will serve as a surface vessel, but teams will also require the ability to sense and act underwater, accomplished through use of an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV).


Teams must demonstrate that their control system has positive control of the platforms and that they can detect the channel markers. This will be a barrier to course/field entry during practice and/or semifinal days, and is not planned to be part of the finals course.


A set of three gates will be located in the course area with a beacon placed underwater within each gate. The AMS must detect the active underwater beacon and transit through the gate in which the active beacon is located.


This is a classic perception/navigation task. The ASV must detect and avoid a range of obstacles. For the 2016 event, however, we will require teams to do more than just avoid obstacle buoys. Teams will be tasked to find 1-4 distinct objects, representing traditional Hawaiian Tiki totems. Teams will demonstrate they have identified the object of interest by circling the correct totems in the correct direction as posted by the TD for that day.

The ASV must autonomously locate the dock, identify the correct symbols and their associated docking bays, and proceed into the correct bays in the correct order. Light contact with the dock is permitted. If necessary to maintain position inside the dock, minimum USV headway into the dock is permitted.

The craft will observe a light sequence on an RGB buoy and report the color pattern. This is similar to the 2014 RobotX light buoy task. The added twist will be that we may require the craft to use information from this task to complete another competition task.


Detect and Deliver.png

A triangular floating platform will be tethered in an open area. Each side of the platform will have a face rising up with a colored shape and a pair of square holes. The ASV must propel or insert objects through the target holes on the face. This basic task may tie into semi-finals or finals tasks where this information is necessary to complete other tasks.