Our Capstone design project was inspired by RoboBoat, an international student robotics competition in which teams develop an autonomous surface vehicle (ASV) and compete to navigate a challenge course.  

A robotic boat navigates the challenge course at the 2020 RoboBoat competition
An ASV navigates the challenge course at the national RoboBoat competition. Credit: RoboBoat

The RoboBoat challenge matched our shared interest in robotics and autonomous systems while offering an appropriately challenging, yet achievable, task to undertake in our 24-week Capstone course. In addition, the interdisciplinary nature of robotics projects allows us to focus individually on the components which most closely align with our skill sets and interests, while also gaining experience integrating the various subsystems into a cohesive, functional system. The RoboBoat competition will also prepare us for future engineering work after graduation, as we will be developing valuable skills that translate to many engineering fields such as teamwork, technical proficiency, and a system’s engineering mindset.