2007 preliminary competition rules revealed

9 02 2007

Just hours ago, AUVI’s Angie Carr released a preliminary version of the 2007 competition rules. Interestingly, the mission objectives consist primarily of a permutation of last year’s objectives. Additionally, there exists a task that involves releasing buoys and another that involves picking up a “treasure.” But mission objectives aside, the most interesting point remains: event organizers are giving competitors only five months notice. The competition kicks off on July 11, 2007.

Without regurgitating the entire rule book to you, here are some of the highlights:

  1. Competitors are tasked with bumping into positively buoyant buoys that blink at some rate over some period. The mission specifications do not note a reason for the complicated blinking pattern other than to identify that the object is a buoy.
  2. The pipe and bins are back. Traditionally, pipe has been extremely easy to detect while bins have been extremely difficult. This is primarily due to the fact that color classification schemes are easy to implement and therefore used widely. However, dynamic modalities of classified objects tend to thwart such schemes.
  3. Competition logisticians have reintroduced the dockign station– a red, blinking light the sub must dock with, or nudge. Only three teams accomplished this last year, one by chance. Uniniversity of Florida was, indeed, one of those teams.
  4. In years past, subs have been tasked with retrieving an object at a specified location. This year, that object is a three-dimensional “X” made from PVC material. Whether teams accomodate their subs to accomplish this task will largely depend on its point value and who else can do it.
  5. AUVSI posted new 2008 weight limits shortly after the 2006 competition, implying that weight would play a huge factor in coming competitions. True to this implication, the bonuses for lightness this year are huge (bonus of 100 + (70-lb)^2 for subs weighing less than 71 pounds). By this year’s standards, last year’s SubjuGator model would earn 1300 points just for showing up!

SubjuGator has a long and arduous swim ahead of her.

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