Oceanographer Paul Snelgrove said, “We know more about the surface of the moon and Mars than we do about the bottom of the ocean.” The mysterious dark depths of the sea have been the object of speculation for science fiction authors since at least when Jules Verne wrote “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” in 1870. Today, thanks to technological advances in many areas, humans are beginning to explore and understand the world beneath the waves in ways never before imagined, opening up entirely new areas of marine research. While deep water submersible rovers were once so complicated to operate and expensive to maintain as to only be available to governments and a few specialized institutions, that is no longer the case. And that’s where the Museum of Science Fiction comes in.
We at the Museum are announcing a robotics competition. We want you to design a deep sea robot and outline the mission that you would send it on, be it ecological study, environmental protection, or even pure exploration. Describe the mission objectives and timeline of events as you foresee it. Explain what activity your robot can perform that no other robot can, and how you will retrieve it when the mission is over. A panel of industry experts will judge all of the submissions based on a series of criteria including innovation and technical feasibility, and the winning team will have its proposal funded, built, and launched in cooperation with our commercial partners. This competition is open to all high school students and is free to enter.
See the complete rules and registration form here:
If you have ever wondered what secrets rest on the ocean floor, or wanted to challenge yourself in a new and exciting way as a roboticist, this is your chance. Form a team with your friends, school classmates or robotics club and get started; you only have until March 15 to submit your proposal. The standards are high for this contest and the competition is sure to be tough, but if your team is selected as the winner, who knows what amazing discovery you might make in your undersea voyage? As Jacques Cousteau said, “The future is in the hands of those who explore.”