News at Smith

Smith Undergrads Compete in RoboNation Competition

Jul 31, 2017
Experiential / Reality-based Learning


Designing, building and racing autonomous robotic submarines is not your usual summer activity for business majors, but two undergraduates did exactly that as they proudly represented the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business last week in San Diego, Calif. Teams from the U.S. and around the world (Russia, India, China, Japan, to name a few) competed in RoboNation's International RoboSub Competition, July 24-30, 2017.

The Smith School co-sponsored the Maryland Robotics team, along with UMDs’ A. James Clark School of Engineering. The two business majors on the team were: John Rogers, a junior information systems major, and Jackie Tran, a senior information systems and supply chain management double major.

Since 2002, the event has been held each summer at the U.S. Navy Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific's TRANSDEC Anechoic Pool in San Diego. According to RoboNation’s website, the event challenges students to “complete a difficult series of visual- and acoustic-based tasks in this international competition. These tasks simulate the work required of robotic subs in many facets of underwater activity.” 

Although they did not win, Rogers said the UMD team worked very hard on “Qubo” (the UMD robot), pulling several all-nighters and made it into the qualifying round for the semi-finals.

- Claudia Donnelley, Smith Undergraduate Program

Photos by John Rogers, Treasurer, UMD’s Robotics Team

Ross and Peter at the entrance to the Navy SSC Pacific TRANSDEC  facility.

Ben, Sean, and Peter debug the electrical system at the competition booth.

Sean and Peter testing Qubo at 4 a.m. in the hotel pool.

Qubo, in her natural habitat.

About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business 

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, specialty masters, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.