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Engineering Students Excel in Underwater Robotics Competition


JONESBORO – The student chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) at Arkansas State University recently competed at the R5 Green Technologies Conference in Houston, their first regional competition. The students competed in underwater robotics.

The underwater robotics competition required students to design and fabricate a tethered underwater robot to collect ‘trash’ from the ocean floor, midwater and surface. The game field simulated an underwater environment containing objects such as industrial infrastructure and underwater debris.

The team consisted of five electrical engineering students: Mark (Joey) Whitledge of Jacksonville designed the motor drive system, Benjamin Whitfield of Little Rock designed the power system, Dalton Fulbright of Paragould designed the communication system, and Daniel Marlar of Tuckerman and Jacob Siler of Wynne designed and fabricated the underwater robot’s hull.

The team was mentored by Dr. Paul Minor, assistant professor of electrical engineering.

Other schools in the R5 Green Technologies Underwater Robotics Student Competition included Arkansas, UT-El Paso, Texas State, Lamar, UT-Arlington, Louisiana-Lafayette, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Texas A&M-Galveston, Stephen F. Austin State, UT-Tyler, LSU, Texas Tech, and Missouri Science and Technology.

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A-State’s underwater robotics competition team includes (top, from left) Jacob Siler, Daniel Marlar, Joey Whitledge and Dalton Fulbright; (below) Benjamin Whitfield.