Yamaha-Supported Team claim RobotX Maritime Challenge

Brightest International Minds Go Head-To-Head At Sydney Regatta Centre

The Yamaha Motor US-sponsored Team Minion claimed victory at this year’s Maritime RobotX Maritime Challenge held at the Sydney International Regatta Centre. The week-long Autonomy Challenge that pitched teams of university students from around the globe head-to-head in a marine and sky autonomous vehicle challenge came down the wire. 

The nail-biting finish saw the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University team from Dayton, Florida – christened “Minions”, bump the event favourites “Bumblebee” from the National University of Singapore from the top step of the podium in the final minutes of the competition.

Dutch Holland, in his fourth year of an accelerated master’s degree program in mechanical engineering, said being a member of the team that went to the Maritime RobotX Challenge will help him to pursue his dream of working on submarines as well as surface vessels, like tugboats. “Participating in the competition helped me learn real-world applicable engineering concepts and practices — something you don’t get from the classroom,” he said. “I like hands-on projects; they make it easier for me to learn and help me to retain the knowledge better.”

Third place in the competition was secured by Team NYCU from Thailand with its WAM-V christened Duckiepond. 

Only just missing out on a podium finish, but still feeling like winners, was the team from University of Sydney. One of the four Australian teams that competed in this year’s event, the local had decided to use the 2022 challenge as a springboard to a full assault in 2024. However, the team surprised everyone – including themselves – by being one of only four teams to qualify for the final. Their qualification was so unexpected that the team had not prepared the programming required to contest the final. It chose to use its last run of the event as a victory lap, cheered on by the 20 teams that took part.

The biennial RobotX event pitches the best international university minds head-to-head in an autonomous marine vehicle challenge. The international competition is designed to foster students’ interest in marine robotics systems with a focus on the science and engineering of cooperative autonomy.

Hosted by US non-profit RoboNation and the Australian Department of Defence, with support from the Next Generation Technologies Fund, the event was held for the first time in Australia from 11 to 17 November 2022 at the Sydney International Regatta Centre.

Reflecting a commitment to its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as its Long Term Vision – ART for Human Possibilities – Yamaha Motor Australia was a proud sponsor of the 2022 Maritime RobotX Challenge. 

Yamaha Motor Australia’s sponsorship saw its marine and land products utilised to assist with running the event. In addition, Yamaha’s Sky Division conducted a flight demonstration of its latest Fazer UAV helicopter, while its Marine Division demonstrated the latest Helm Master EX fully integrated boat control technology. Both systems are an example of the commercial and recreational applications of Yamaha’s autonomous technology.